Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo: Drama Review – Episode 4 – 10|FINALE

I was able to complete Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo yesterday. So in this post, I will be reviewing episodes four to ten and also giving my final thoughts on the drama.

If you haven’t read my review for episodes one to three, use this link 👉🏼 Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo: Drama Review – Episode 1 – 3

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review:

In my first review, I mentioned that this drama’s atmosphere slightly reminds me of Code Blue. Now, after watching all the episodes, I don’t get that same feeling because this series didn’t focus much on medical procedures. It was more about the stories of each patient and their impact on the lead characters’ growth and development. Of course, this difference doesn’t affect the quality, but I felt the need to address it since I touched on it previously.

Okay, that is out of the way. So let’s discuss episodes four to ten –

Right from the start, this drama showed great potential, and things only got better as the story progressed. Sakura’s character continued to impress me with her growth. She was able to balance her job as a nurse and her love for Tendo Kairi. As for Tendo, he proved himself as a severe Tsundere. He pretends to ignore things or act like he doesn’t care when he actually does care. This attitude made it so fun for me to watch him being jealous. All the same, Tendo also experienced some character development. He opened up more to Sakura, and we got to see him smile and even laugh. By the way, Satoh Takeru’s smile is so cute and sexy💘💘. Okay, Tendo became more proactive in their relationship. He was an excellent mentor to Sakura and also a very supportive boyfriend. I love that he encouraged her to go study abroad.

The way Sakura and Tendo started dating was adorable and funny, but quite abrupt. The confession in the ambulance showed how desperate Tendo felt at that moment. He really loves her, so I don’t know why he was playing hard to get all this while. He is such a cute tsundere😂😂😂. Plus, I love how he went from telling Sakura to keep their relationship a secret from their colleagues in the hospital to then making a public announcement himself. 

Honestly, the chemistry from our leads was insane. I felt like I was intruding into their private space whenever they had intimate scenes. I love them, and I am going to miss them so much. What do I do with my Wednesdays now???😢😢 I am going to miss hearing Tendo say – Baka!!!

Moving on to the side characters and their relationships. Even though I was not too invested in everyone’s story, I still appreciated their presence. My favourite side roles were that of Sakai and Dr. Kisugi / Ryuko and Nishi. I was seriously rooting for Ryuko to get with Nishi, and I love how the writer developed her character. She got more serious by taking over her family’s hospital but still kept her right by refusing to go along with the arranged marriage. In the case of Sakai, she became the next “Warrior-Chick” after Sakura with she way the followed Dr. Kisugi until he took notice of her.

Another thing I didn’t care much for was the love rivals, and I am so glad that this drama did not drag things out. Both leads were sure of their feelings and never allowed any secondary party to interfere. So Miori and Kamijo failed to create unnecessary misunderstandings. At some point, I was really annoyed with Kamijo because of his ridiculous entitlement, but when they gave him some back story, I tried to understand him. Still, that didn’t excuse his wrong deeds from my book until he apologized to Tendo. In Miori’s case, I was genuinely baffled about how she came to fall in love with her dead sister’s boyfriend. Plus, the fact that she was so bold about it pissed me off even more. All the same, I came up with a theory that she might still be grieving; hence she was looking for a piece of her sister in Tendo. This theory was later confirmed. I really appreciate how both love rivals were resolved.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Ari-chan is another side character that I really loved. I am glad that she was able to get her surgery and go back to school.

Now, the only aspect of this drama that threw me off till the end was how Sakura never stopped calling Tendo, sensei. I really wanted her to try calling him by his name. Since it was not a big deal, I just rolled with her calling him sensei till the end.

There were a lot of moments throughout this show that made my heart flutter. So let’s discuss a few.

– Ryuko’s Constant Interruptions: Somehow, whenever Sakura and Tendo tried to get intimate, Ryuko always came in to interrupt. This became an ongoing joke for me because it happened quite a lot😂😂😂. One of my favourite scenes of such an occurrence was in episode seven. She came in, saw that they were kissing and just started heading back out like nothing happened😂😂😂😂 – 

 

– Sakura Vs. Tendo Tease Battle: These two enjoyed teasing each other with their constant staring battles. Sakura is also an adorable and mischievous character, so she messed with Tendo a lot. A good example was when she made him kiss her after smearing ice cream on her face. My heart always went doki-doki during such moments – 

 

– Tendo meeting Sakura’s family Vs. Sakura meeting Tendo’s family: Tendo’s meeting with Sakura’s family was really hilarious. Her family asked him the right questions, and that actually made Sakura realize that he had not said “I love you” to her yet. My favourite scene was when they caught her family peeping at them. In the case of Sakura’s meeting with Tendo’s parents, it was awkward but still quite funny. I loved her reaction when he declared that she’s the woman he plans to marry – 

 

– Wedding Kiss: The final kiss was by far my favourite from Sakura and Kairi. It was such a sweet scene, and I caught myself replaying it a good number of times. They are so cute. Also, they looked so good. Sakura looked very beautiful in her wedding gown, and Tendo was rocking that three-piece suit – 

Another moment I loved was when Tendo listed out all the things he loves about Sakura and finally said: “I love you.” I’m not going to include that clip, so go watch it yourself. It is in episode nine. That was a very emotional scene, and I died when Sakura said she was hungry after hearing him pour out his heart to her. Like what???… BAKA!!

Final Thoughts:

Overall, this was an excellent series from start to finish. I will really miss it. Satoh Takeru and Kamishiraishi Mone are fantastic actors. They truly owned their craft. The supporting actors also brought their A-game, so we as the viewers were able to get such a perfect production.

I loved everything. Starting from the main couple’s chemistry to how well developed the story was. The pacing was also impeccable. There was never a time when the story felt like a drag, and the ending was solid. The original soundtrack was also very catchy. I love how the drama used different instrumental versions of “I LOVE” by Official HIGE DANdism. I already have a post about this OST, it can be accessed with this link 👉🏼 Official HIGE DANdism – I LOVE: Song Of The Week

I honestly wouldn’t mind if this show has a second season, but for now, I am satisfied. Therefore, my rating for Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo is  10/10. To get a better understanding of how I rate each drama, read this post 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

Also, all episodes of this drama are available with English subs on this site, 👉🏼 Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo on BLITZ FANSUB

If you have completed Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo, please let me know what your thoughts are, and if you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out. It is definitely worth it.

 

 

Finding Mr. Right: Movie Review

Finding Mr. Right is a 2013 Chinese Film that starred Tang Wei and Wu Xiubo as leads.

Synopsis: The story follows a pregnant woman, JiaJia. She is trying to avoid the scandals of her sinister, already-married boyfriend. Hopping a plane to Seattle, Jiajia meets Frank, a handsome taxi driver and divorcee who makes her see love, and herself, in a new light. (source – Amazon Prime)

Expectations: I just started watching the Chinese drama – Ming Dynasty. I was really impressed by Tang Wei’s natural approach to acting, so I decided to check out more of her works. Coincidently Finding Mr. Right was already on my Viki watchlist. After reading the plot summary and watching the trailer, I had a feeling that it was going to be an exciting watch.

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review:

This is going to be a quick breakdown.

Finding Mr. Right is not the biggest masterpiece out there, but it is definitely a heartfelt gem. It showcased a charming story, and I genuinely enjoyed every moment.

The movie focuses on JiaJia as she learns about love in different forms and creates the family that she has always wanted. So if you need a touching story of growth, this is for you.

Wen JiaJia started out as a very annoying character. She was ignorant, arrogant, and extremely rude, but by the end of the film, she became more understanding and appreciative of the people around her. She also learnt to love herself and realized that her worth was not to be based solely on wealth. Her character growth was incredible.

Another appealing aspect of Finding Mr. Right was the chemistry between Tang Wei and Wu Xiubo. They didn’t have intense, intimate scenes, but you could feel their love for each other. I sincerely appreciate a couple that can have deep conversations about life, family, and future plans. It doesn’t always have to be about the kissing scenes and bed scenes. Hence why I give more value and praise to productions that portray couples with an excellent balance of intimacy and communication.

This film also has excellent comedic scenes, and the cinematography is beautiful for a 2013 production. I adore the soundtracks they used. Every song was perfect for the chosen scene. My favourite soundtrack is “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan, it is an old song but still a beautiful classic. –

Overall, Finding Mr. Right was an emotional story with great actors, and I wouldn’t mind watching it again. Therefore my rating is 9/10. To get a better understanding of how I rate each movie or drama, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

And for anyone interested in seeing this movie, it is available on Viki 👉🏼 Finding Mr. Right with Eng Subs

 

 

The Ghost Bride: Drama Review

The Ghost Bride is a 2020 Taiwanese drama. It has six episodes and is available on Netflix. 3f1e1cdd-2854-438b-8ade-dbe7d0b0aa4d-7900-000006431a2998faSynopsis: Set in 1890 Malacca, a young woman named Pan Li Lan, is forced to marry a dead man in exchange for help with her family’s poor finances. She makes a deal with Tian Ching, the ghost she’s meant to marry. In exchange for her father’s life, she will investigate his murder. As things unfold, Li Lan finds herself in a more complicated situation than she bargained for.

Expectations: This was on my list for must-watch dramas of 2020. I love spooky ghost stories. Also, the trailers and first posters looked quite promising. I am familiar with Chris Wu. Most of his series I have seen were really good, so why I decided to give this one a shot.

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: 

From the first poster I saw, I assumed that I was going to get a decent horror thrill and mystery, but the reality of what I got from The Ghost Bride was a lot of comedic scenes, some mystery and hardly any spookiness. Which isn’t bad, but definitely not what I expected.

The first thing that I noticed once I started episode one was the background scores. Yes, they were beautiful, but they sounded quite modern in comparison to the period the story was set in. Thankfully this got better. The next aspect I took note of was the picture quality. I absolutely love the cinematography for this drama. It was clear, simple and stunning.

This is my first time watching Huang Pei Jia. She did a great job as Pan Li Lan. The scenes with her and Er Lang were fun to watch. Chris Wu also gave an excellent performance as Er Lang. Even though I wasn’t expecting so much comedy, his character was a joy to watch. Overall most of the actors were okay, but there were still a few that gave mediocre performances.

After finishing the drama, I went ahead to read some reviews. I noticed that a few people believe that Tian Ching(the ghost) sincerely cared for Li Lan, but I beg to differ. He kept on tormenting her family members, and it was selfish of him to try and keep her in the Netherlands against her will. Even though he claimed that his upbringing was messed up, I don’t feel bad for him because he showed no sign of remorse. Plus, I blame the scriptwriter for my lack of empathy towards Tian Ching. There wasn’t enough shown that would enable me to sympathize with his character. What the drama showed me was a villain that needed to be dealt with.

Now, concerning Pan Li Lan’s affection towards Tian Bai. I didn’t care much for that pairing because there was no chemistry between them. The person she bonded with was Er Lang, the heavenly guard, and that was why her decision at the end made sense to me.

Altogether nothing really stood out to me in this drama; hence I don’t have much to say. It did showcase selfless love between family members, but overall it lacked a lot. Story-wise, The Ghost Bride did not depict excellent writing skills. The only thing that will make me want to watch a second season is the cliffhanger at the end. Aside from that, I don’t see myself rewatching this drama. My rating is 6.5/10. To get a better understanding of my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

The Ghost Bride wasn’t to my taste, but someone else might actually love it. So if you need some lighthearted ghost story, then give it a chance and form your own opinion.

Queen: Love and War: Drama Review – Episode 11 – 16|FINALE

Yesss… finally it is here.

In this post, I will be reviewing the remaining episodes of Queen: Love and War and also giving my final thoughts on the drama.

If you haven’t seen the two previous reviews, use these links 👉🏼 Queen: Love and War: Drama Review – Episode 1-4

👉🏼 Queen: Love And War: Drama Review – Episode 5-10

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review:

At the end of episode 10, Baek Ja Yong told Eun Bo to poison the King. The drama continues with Eun Bo refusing but complying at the end because she was threatened with her mother’s life. Honestly, I knew they were going to use her mother against her, but I had hoped for her to open up about everything to the king. Sure, things still tuned out okay, but she could have saved herself from all the stress.

I felt so vindicated when prince Jae Hwa finally admitted to his greed for power and revenge. He never had any intentions to create a better world in the first place. Because I have been thinking, why do they hate the king so much? He is smart, just, kind and willing to work with good ministers. There also wasn’t any show of him disregarding his people’s wellbeing. So what exactly was their problem if not wanting to acquire power for themselves. Jae Hwa and the left minster’s daughter are so alike. If someone says they don’t love you, leave them and give yourself space to heal. Why do you have to take your heart to the deepest part of hell just to get their affection or destroy what you can’t have?🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

On a side note, am I the only one that finds the King’s tonation odd? Something about his pronunciation throws me off. I noticed this since the first episode but never mentioned it. I’m only pointing it out now because this my last time discussing this drama. Anyways it’s not a big deal.

The characters that impressed me a lot in these final episodes were Wal and the King. Aside from his prophetic dreams, the King is brilliant. He was able to decipher most of the plots coming his way. That made things more interesting for me.

  • Wal played by Lee Si EonScreenshot (31)He proved himself to be more than comic relief and showcased his skills from years of running an investigation agency. He was the one that discovered most of the critical details that helped the main couple deal with the criminals around them. I adore his relationship with Eun Bo. He acts like an older brother that scolds her when she’s acting silly, and he is also her best friend who supports her relationship with the King. I was so grateful that they didn’t kill off his character. At first, I thought he was going to jump ships and betray Eun Bo, but thankfully, his role did not take such a predictable route.

So far, most scenes in this series have been quite smart and realistic, so I was absolutely disappointed during that assassination attempt. I understand why the queen stood still because it was her plot to get Eun Bo killed. However, why were Eun Bo and Song Yi just standing still when a man was pointing a gun right at them? No one even tried to dodge or run. Also, the guards could not even shoot him in the leg or something. They gave him the space to pick up his gun and fire. What was going on there? I’m confused. I honestly think that the scene could have been handled better.

Once all the traitors started getting exposed, I knew what was coming next. They were all going to band together and attempt to get the throne. It is like once their plan A fails, they just rush into the next dense plot and end up in deeper holes of no return. That aside, the Kim family are certainly bad schemers. All their plans backfire, and it is always fun to see the outcome 😂😂😂😂. I was kind of sad that prince Jae Hwa killed minister Hong. He was the only true one on the king’s side, and his death at the end didn’t make any point, but okay.

The person who surprised me to the end was the Queen Dowager. I assumed she had some plot, but she was actually doing things for the best interest of the throne in a just manner. That was an unexpected turn of events.

Now with concerns to the ending, I knew Eun Bo was going to be pregnant and give birth to a son. And, of course, they would meet again before the drama wrapped up. Although I had hoped to see how they will make her queen. I feel that would have been a more exciting way to end things.

Final Thoughts:

Overall I think this was a good drama, but there were some let downs. I am going to discuss the disappointing factors first and then conclude with the aspects I enjoyed.

Storywise, Queen: Love and War is nothing new to me. I have watched enough Korean historical dramas to know the usual formula used. Actually, most Korean dramas nowadays are similar, but a few still go the extra mile to make slight changes that separate them from the majority. That was what I was waiting for, but I never got with this series. I knew most of what was coming, I simply waited to see how things would unfold. There wasn’t much that enticed me as a viewer, and I do not like feeling that way because it means something is missing.

Another thing I have issues with is writing. This might just be me over analyzing things, but I think the emotions and developments for most characters were not handled properly. The characters were losing their spark as the story progressed. Also, for some, the intense emotions they displayed were not groomed well enough for the viewers to understand or relate with. Now, this might just be my brain overworking, but that is what I noticed.

Enough with the let downs, here are the remarkable aspects of this show –

I love that I could see the queen selection process in detail. The main couple’s chemistry was great. They both did a fantastic job as the centers. The cinematography and costumes for this show were also well crafted. On a regular, I do prefer the odd and moody artistic style of filming, but I also enjoy filming that focuses on the use of vibrant colours. So I genuinely enjoyed how colourful this production was. Kudos to the actors for a job well done👏👏👏👏👏. From the main actors to the supporting casts, everyone carried their weight. They all showed exceptional acting skills, and that is the main factor that sells any story for me.

Aside from the few misses, Queen: Love and War is a good drama. Therefore my rating is 8/10. To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

If you have not seen this drama, the full episodes are available with this link 👉🏼 Queen: Love and War with English Subtitles on Viki

And if you are currently watching or you’ve already completed it, feel free to share your opinions with me in the comment section.

 

 

Someday Or One Day: Drama Review – Episode 8 – 13|FINALE

Hello, everyone🤗🤗

Sorry I couldn’t follow my schedule as promised. I was tired after writing my test yesterday, so I slept off once I got home. All the same, I am here now. I will be reviewing the remaining episodes for Someday Or One Day and also giving my final thoughts on the drama.

If you haven’t read my review for episodes 1-7, use this link 👉🏼 Someday Or One Day: Drama Review – Episode 1-7

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review:

At the end of episode 7, we were left off with Huang Yu Xuan’s discovery of Li Zi Wei at Uncle Wen Lei’s coffee shop. The drama continues with a quick showcase of the real Wang Quan Sheng’s life. From his short story, I was able to understand how Li Zi Wei’s time travel happened. At first, I was confused when they showed the older Li Zi Wei in 2008, but he was also in Wang Quan Sheng’s body from 2003. Thankfully they clarified why that was happening, so no plotholes there. Now at that point, I realized how interconnected the time travel pattern was. Also, I was so confident that it wasn’t Mo Jun Jie that killed Chen Yun Ru. Hence, my bet was on their weird classmate. So when the psycho doctor time travelled as well, I was mind blown. Everyone played a role in the time loop. Honestly, if you try to analyze the time travel process, you will come to discover that there was never an exact starting point.

Huang Yu Xuan is shown as the one who travelled back first, but she needed something to make that trip. The music tape came from the past. If Li Zi Wei did not disappear after the plane crash, Huang Yu Xuan would not travel back in time. So no matter what they did, it could never have been unravelled. Therefore I like how they handled the story. Every event had to happen for them to get proper clarification on what should be done to end the time loop.

Episode ten was definitely the main turning point of the story. Things began to get very dark from there. It was quite disturbing to see the psycho doctor (Xie Zhi Qi) mentor his younger self into a killer. He had severe mental issues, and he practically destroyed his elder brother’s mind. I would have loved to see how his character turned out after everything. But since they didn’t show the future for anyone, I am not too concerned about him.

Concerning the ending. I think episodes 8, 9 and the first half of 10 were used to make up for the fact that we would not see Li Zi Wei and Huang Yu Xuan’s time together as a couple after their entire ordeal. I don’t mind it because I got some adorable and hilarious moments from our leads. I laughed so hard at Li Zi Wei’s tantrum after he found out about Huang Yu Xuan’s boyfriend. Their chemistry throughout the series was on flames, so I am satisfied. The love that Li Zi Wei showed for Huang Yu Xuan throughout the show was intense, in the right way. I genuinely wish that everyone could find someone like him as their partner, but life is not Disney land. Li Zi Wei practically waited for 15 years before he could see her again. Yu Xuan, on the other hand, had him as Wang Quang Sheng to accompany her. Also, although it was an open ending for our leads, they did hint at the possibility of them meeting in the future. There is an extra clip on the official IG account for this drama, but unfortunately, it hasn’t been subbed. Here is the account link 👉🏼 SDOOD Official IG

Edit: I found the subbed version of the extra clip, so here  it is:

To wrap up, let’s discuss the magnet of the story. The one, The only, Chen Yun Ru!!!. Once again, I will like to compliment Alice for such a fantastic job done at portraying two characters. From the posture down to their expressions, everything was different. In the last episodes, I was quickly able to notice that it was Chen Yun Ru pretending to be Huang Yu Xuan. Chen Yun Ru’s character showcased the actual reality of severe depression. At first, when she started acting weird, I was kind of frustrated. To me, her trying to live as someone else to attain happiness was disappointing. I just wanted her to be herself. All she needed to do was to try and be more open. That way, she could grow into her own unique personality and meet people who cared about her naturally. Plus, there was Mo Jun Jie, who really loved the real Chen Yun Ru. So I didn’t want her to let the hurtful words eat her up.

Yes, my intentions were quite sincere, but after watching the heavy scene before she jumped, I came to a sudden awareness. Me telling Chen Yun Ru to be herself and try harder would not encourage her but rather drain her more. Because to someone who is going through severe depression, they have already tried their best. They are now at their breaking point. So telling them to work harder confirms that you don’t understand their pain. Therefore I think the right way to go about it is to make them see some glimmer of hope in the world like Huang Yu Xuan did for Chen Yun Ru.

“It’s not because you are too disappointed in this world, but because you have too many expectations from this world.”

If you’re going through rough times, please remember that you are unique, and you have a purpose in this universe. There is always going to be at least one person that cares about you. Keep Fighting!!!💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼 and talk to someone.

Also, as individuals never neglect or undermine a friend or person going through emotional distress. They need you, so be kind and reach out a helping hand. It goes a long way.

Final Thoughts:

This was such a deep, meaningful and refreshing drama. I love that even towards the end of the show, the story was still as engaging. It didn’t drag, and there were always new things to be uncovered. That is what I call superb writing skills. I enjoyed every minute I spent watching this excellent production. The director, writers, casts and production crew all deserve a massive round of applause👏👏👏👏👏👏👏. Someday Or One Day is definitely high up in my list for recommendations. I will be ranting about it to my friends for a very long time.

While watching the last few episodes, I couldn’t help but be so overwhelmed by how good it was. At first, I was scared that there might be a few plotholes due to the back and forth time switch, but they proved me wrong. Every little detail was addressed correctly. Furthermore, I most say that they perfected the concept of switching between timelines because that kept the viewers intrigued. They kept us guessing by holding back on information and showcasing everything bit by bit. The entire show felt like a puzzle piece that was coming together with each episode.

I will also like to commend this drama for using its platform to discuss critical issues that so many people are currently facing. As the story progressed, it touched on topics like depression, suicide, discrimination based on sexual orientation, and mental health. I am glad that our society is becoming more open to such discussions. People are now taken more seriously and help centres have been put in place to assist anyone in need. Of course, there is still more work to be done concerning the pressure from inconsiderate statements, norms and opinions. But, for now, this is a good start.

Another thing I absolutely loved about this drama was the OSTs and background scores. There were all so beautiful, heartfelt and gave off a nostalgic feeling. I found it so hard to skip the intro because of the opening theme. I have already talked about that song in a previous post. Use this link to check it out 👉🏼 Shi Shi – Someday or One day: Song Of The Week

Now here are some other notable mentions that caught my attention –

  • YELLOW – “Someday”
  • 831 – “Miss You 30000”
  • Shi Shi – “Come Away”
  • Naiwen Yang – “Will we remember?”

Overall, Someday Or One Day was a solid show. The pacing was perfect, and I was also satisfied with the ending. I can see myself watching it again. Therefore my rating for this is 10/10.

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

If you haven’t watched this drama, go check it out now with this link 👉🏼 Someday Or One Day with English Subtitles on Viki

Also, if you’re currently on it or you’ve already completed Someday Or One Day, feel free to share your opinions with me in the comment section.

Tenno no Ryoriban: Drama Review

I just finished watching this drama, and even though I initially did not plan to review it, I think it deserves to be discussed a little. This is going to be a quick review.

Tenno no Ryoribin, also known as The Emperor’s Cook, is a 2015 Japanese drama based on a novel with the same native name by Hisahide Sugimori. It ran for twelve episodes. The main character of this series is Akiyama Tokuzo, which was played by Satoh Takeru.

Sypnosis: Akiyama Tokuzo is a young man living in a rural area. He easily gets absorbed in things but quickly loses interest and moves on to something new. This behaviour continually creates problems for his family. One day while delivering goods to an army kitchen, he meets a chef who gives him cutlet to eat. Tokuzo immediately falls in love with cooking. So he decides to move to Tokyo to learn the craft. He later travels to Paris to study more about culinary arts. Fighting against discrimination and prejudice, Tokuzo becomes a chef at the Hotel Ritz in Paris. At age 25, he becomes the chef for the Emperor of Japan.

Review: 

I absolutely enjoyed every minute of this drama. I felt like I was on a journey with Akiyama Tokuzo. Satoh Takeru is an astounding actor. I have watched him in a few movies, but this is such an intriguing and outstanding role. I clearly need to check out more of his projects. I already knew that he was a good actor, but this role completely took my love for him to another level. The way he showcased Tokuzo’s growth throughout the series was pure gold. Satoh Takeru definitely owned his craft with this drama.

I love how the story was written. We could see that Tokuzo did not achieve his dreams alone. His family, friends and mentors supported him along the way. Including every single person he met throughout his journey, whether bad or good, they all had an impact on his character. This also relates to real-life where we meet so many different people. Of course, not all turn out to be good influences, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t learn something out of the encounter. I also admire how his character never gave up once he discovered what he wanted to do in life. He stayed focused and knew that he couldn’t afford to disappoint himself or his family any longer.

There were a few times when I wished for Tokuzo to pay more attention to his family after marriage. My concern was later resolved during the time when his wife was ill. I could see that he genuinely cared for his family, but he also took his job as the Emperor’s chef very seriously. This goes to show that his character wasn’t perfect. He was a bit selfish and also had a quick temper, but these traits are what made his character intriguing.

The other two roles that really stood out to me were Tokuzo’s brother – Shutaro and Tokuzo’s wife – Toshiko. These two characters made me shed tears because of their love and support for Tokuzo. Kuroki Haru, who acted as Toshiko, is such a skilled actress. Her subtle and quite expressions were always a delight to watch. She gave so much life to her character without ever saying much. I applaud her and I will definitely check out more of her works. Suzuki Ryohei, who played as Shutaro, is also another experienced actor. His delivery was always on point. His support of Tokuzo’s dream was heartwarming to watch. I am glad he saw his younger brother succeed.

Another thing I loved was the music. It was well placed, so it sparked more emotions for me.

Overall, I think this was a well-written drama. The story progression was perfect, and the screen time was well divided among every character. All members of the cast did a fantastic job. No matter the amount of time they had on screen, each role had a purpose and made the desired impact. I could see the effort made by the production team to ensure they got every foreign country’s scenario right. Also, most of the non-Japanese actors gave a believable performance. This was an inspiring and excellent series to watch. Therefore my rating for Tenno no Ryoriban is 10/10.

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

Adoring: Movie Review

Adoring is a 2019 Chinese film that features people of different ages in the company of their loyal pets as they give love, receive love, discover love and learn to love again. Vivienne is a veterinarian that also runs a pet shop. She looks after the well being of all the pets in the community, and even witnesses six heartwarming stories about the people and the pets they adore.

Expectations: I saw the trailer while scrolling through Instagram earlier today, and I quickly looked for a site to watch the full film. Honestly, I am not an animal lover, but there are a few times when I do find cats adorable. All the same, I am a sucker for love. Whether it be the love of animals or another person, I am here for all of it.😊😊

Review:

I absolutely enjoyed every minute of this film. It was beautiful and filled with love from beginning to end. The bond between the pets and their owners was incredible. Every actor did a fantastic job of bringing their character and relationship with their pets to life. I felt every emotion they expressed, I laughed with them, and cried, as in genuinely cried with them. Also, the acting from the animals was remarkable. I could tell that they were well trained. They even made me reconsider the idea of having a pet. How could such little beings have a vital impact on someone’s life? Adoring is definitely not the most epic film I have seen, but the heartwarming feeling it gave me is truly memorable.

To dive more into the story, let’s look into each pet and their owners,

(warning – spoilers ahead)

  • Zhao Yue and Fang Xin with Seven – img_3314This couple was always lovey-dovey and funny. I loved their chemistry, and I live for William Chan in funny and charming roles. It was amusing whenever he begged Seven (the dog) to let him spend time alone with Fang Xin. Seven truly loved Fang Xin, and he always protected her, so I felt sad watching him in pain. The scene where Fang Xin asked, “who loves me the most?” broke my heart. Including the last moments between him and Zhao Yue, I was tear-bending throughout the entire scene😭😭😭😭. I couldn’t imagine the pain of losing a pet that has accompanied you for almost all your life. Yet I believe that their story shows the beauty of companionship. Seven will forever remain Fang Xin’s best friend.

 

  • Chen Yue Yun and Jiang Nan with Zha –img_3313At first, I thought it was going to be the typical romance trope, but they focused more on the friendship aspect. I love how Nan encouraged Yue Yun. You know you’ve found a true one when they go out of their way to fulfill anything for you. Everyone needs a friend like Nan. Yue Yun also cared for Nan, but he was dealing with a lot. I am glad that he found the courage to continue school. The scene where Zha (the dog) was leading him to school was very emotional. Just seeing the love and support he got from everyone around him gave me major feels. Independence is a great accomplishment, but it’s also okay to lean on others once in a while.

 

  • Cao Wende with Barton –img_3310This was another funny but heartwarming relationship. Right from the start, I knew that Barton was a brilliant dog. At first, when the dog catchers showed up, I died laughing from how serious they were about the mission. It felt like they were on some 007 spy case🤣🤣🤣. However, after knowing Barton’s story, my reaction took a more serious tone. I am happy that they all came together to help get Barton off the streets. Thankfully, the dog eaters did not get to him first. I like how the relationship between these two developed. Barton and Wende showed the importance of trust and learning to love again.

 

  • Gao Ming and Gao Meng Meng with Angela/Hulu –img_3311This was another set that made me cry. Most notably, during their scene at the airport. The way she calls him “dummy daddy” was cute but also hilarious to me. At first, I thought Gao Ming was trying to get his wife and daughter to stay back with him, but later on, I realized that he was only trying to keep Hulu (the cat). To him, Hulu was the only person he had left, and that was also his primary connection to his daughter after the divorce. I am glad that he was able to resolve his relationship with Meng Meng, and he even got to keep Hulu. Everyone needs love and company.

 

  • Li Xiang and Qu Fei Fei with Bell –img_3312I can understand why he didn’t want Fei Fei to know about Bell (the pig). She wasn’t exactly the most conventional pet. All the same, I was still kind of pissed at how Fei Fei reacted to the situation. At first, when Bell kept on misbehaving, I had two guesses. She was either seeking Li Xiang’s attention, or somehow she was trying to help Fei Fei, and I was partially right. I am so glad Bell came back home safely because if she actually got slaughtered, their relationship would have gown downhill. By the end of everything, Fei Fei came to appreciate Bell more. Honestly, the way she rushed to hug Bell shows that she might even love the pet more than Li Xiang😂😂😂.

 

  • Luo Hua and An Ying with 726 –img_3309Throughout their scenes, all I could say was, “Aww, the kitten is so adorable.” I couldn’t resist the cuteness😍😍😍. Anyways, An Ying’s case shows that if someone is truly meant for you, no matter how abruptly they come into your lives, they will leave a significant impact. An Ying has mysophobia, so 726 (the kitten) was never in her plan. She simply liked Luo Hua, but because of him, she had to learn to share her space. Even though her first time taking care of 726 was frustrating, she opened up later on. So I guess in her case, she discovered a new kind of love.

Like I mentioned from the beginning, this was really a heartwarming film. Therefore my rating for Adoring is 10/10.

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

If you are interested in watching this movie, use this link 👉🏼 Adoring with English Subtitles

Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo: Drama Review – Episode 1 – 3

Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo, also known as Love Will Last Forever, is an ongoing Japanese TV series set for ten episodes. It airs every Tuesday, which means we get one episode each week. It started on January 14th.

Sypnosis: Nanase Sakura met Dr. Kairi Tendo several years ago and fell in love with him. To meet her dream man again, she studied hard to become a nurse. Fast forward to five years later, Nanase Sakura is now a 23-year-old rookie nurse starting her career at the same hospital where Tendo works. After meeting him, she realizes that he has a different personality from what she imagined. Kairi Tendo is 31 years old and, his nickname at work is “Devil.” He often makes biting remarks to other doctors and nurses. Nanase Sakura works hard to receive his recognition and also confesses her feelings to him. Due to her persistence, she gains the nickname ” Warrior”  from her co-workers.

Expectations: I saw a clip of this drama on Instagram, and I decided to check it out. Usually, I stay away from such storylines, but it’s Satoh Takeru. How could I resist? He is one of my favourite Japanese actors. Also, I have been searching for a current Japanese series to watch, and none caught my attention except this.

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: 

Overall, I think this is a good drama, and it has the potential to get better with the current progress. I approve of how they showcased the past encounter and quickly rushed things to the present time. They have only ten episodes, so there is no time to waste. Although, I was quite baffled when they showed Tendo slowly wrapping her scarf while the ambulance was waiting for him. I don’t think any doctor would do that.

My primary concern was for Sakura to discover a better drive for her career. I believe that the encounter from five years ago inspired her, but she was also star-struck by Tendo’s good looks. This means, from the get-go, her desire to become a nurse wasn’t just based on her crush for Tendo. Sakura’s situation reminded me of Park Shin Hye’s character in Doctors. She admires Tendo’s skills. So once the series started, I was praying for her to come to that realization. I am very grateful she did because now I can continue watching with ease. Sakura knows that her actual dream is to help others, even though she likes Dr. Kairi Tendo. Kudos to the writer for giving her a personality outside of her crush.

This drama’s atmosphere slightly reminds me of Code Blue. Mainly because it’s been a while since I watched a Japanese medical series. I enjoy how we get to see their interactions with the patients. Their time in the hospital impacts the doctors and nurses. So far, Arin and Kanda are the patients that caught my attention. Kanda’s death made me cry. Honestly, human life is so fragile. One minute someone is here, and the next minute they’re gone forever. Death has taken so many young and bright souls, and as a doctor or nurse, you have to deal with loss regularly. I couldn’t imagine. I’m glad that Tendo was there to comfort Sakura, and I sincerely hope that Arin gets better. She is such a brilliant and nice little girl.

Now let’s talk about some characters,

– Kamishiraishi Mone as Nanase Sakura – The actress is doing a great job. Her expressions are not forced. Nanase Sakura is slow, but that does not mean she isn’t smart. Also, to get through nursing school, you must be extremely hardworking. Therefore, she already has potential. All she simply needs to do now is focus on improving her skills and being more careful. At first, she came off naive and unprepared. Her confession scene gave me major second-hand embarrassment.

Nevertheless, I can tell that Sakura sincerely cares for her patients, and she is willing to take advice. Just like Tendo mentioned, one of her best qualities is that she is quick to take action. She is also hilarious with her vivid daydreams. Plus, the way she beamed up after Tendo called her real name, and her sweet promise to make him smile again is quite adorable. I am sincerely looking forward to her growth throughout the series.

– Satoh Takeru as Tendo Kairi – He killed me when he said that he only has enough kindness for the patients. Like his boss asked – are you an internet bundle?😂😂😂 Also, when he wrote his insult on the paper instead of saying it out, I died. Can’t you let it go?🤣🤣🤣 Right from the start, Tendo seemed like a pineapple to me. He is full of thorns on the outside but sweet once you get past his cold demeanour. There is always a reason for such behaviour. His girlfriend’s death had a significant impact on him, so he needs time to heal. I am a bit confused about the timeline they gave us. If his girlfriend died eight years ago, and Sakura met him five years ago. How come he was kind to her then? Was it just a spur of the moment, or were my subtitles wrong? I can see that Tendo is already getting jealous, and he is beginning to open up. I am excited to see his healing process and how he mentors Sakura.

– Yoshikawa Ai as Sakai Yuika – I examined her character with an open mind. She is pissed at Sakura for not taking their profession seriously. What I do not appreciate is her looking down on Sakura. You might be excellent at the technical stuff, but that does not mean you are perfect. If you feel she isn’t going about things the right way, say it to her directly instead of being shady. Or lend a helping hand if you have enough time. Sakura does have some strengths that Sakai lacks. Thankfully by the end of episode three, she realizes that. She also needs to work hard.


Japanese dramas tend not to disappoint me. Hence I have high hopes that this will remain a solid one till the end. Here is a link to the English subbed episodes of this series 👉🏼 Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo on BLITZ FANSUB.

If you have started Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo, what do you think of the story so far?

Queen: Love And War: Drama Review – Episode 5 – 10

Queen: Love and War is an ongoing Korean historical drama that airs every Saturday and Sunday. I have already reviewed the first four episodes. If you need to read that post, use this link 👉🏼 Queen: Love and War: Drama Review – Episode 1-4. I will be focusing my review today on episodes five to ten.

Before I begin, here is a link to the English subbed episodes of the show 👉🏼 Queen: Love and War on Viki

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review:

In my previous review, I mentioned that the synopsis didn’t exactly match what was happening in the drama. The aspect of the King having dreams was unclear at that point, but now I can see what they meant. He has been experiencing prophetic dreams ever since the assassination attempt. This is undoubtedly an exciting element of the series because it gives him an upper hand in dangerous situations. A good example is when he protected Eun Bo’s mother and the real Hong Yeon from the left state minister.

It was nice to see the queen selection process in detail. Most historical dramas hardly show that, so I wonder if the process shown in this show is accurate. All the same, I like that they were very thorough. Additionally, I love the colours and the design of their hanboks. They are so vibrant and pretty. The opening song for the series is another sweet delight for me. So far, that is the only OST that caught my attention.

Now, with concerns to the King, the way he handles his emotions gives me very conflicting feelings. In cases where he opens up to Eun Bo or gives a straightforward reply, I appreciate that trait. Then when he shows his weakness through his lack of control, I get frustrated. His ministers show him no respect and use their family connections to create drama in court, but he still has not learnt how to play their game.

Let’s take two scenarios from the drama as examples. Scenario 1 – Eun Bo’s Kidnap: When Eun Bo got back, she threatened Song Yi with evidence, but didn’t show her what it was. In the end, we discovered that there was no evidence. Scenario 2 – EunBo’s Arrest: The King told his mom to make her maid confess and have her family own up to their crime. He did this without securing substantial evidence. In the end, Eun Bo had to spend a few days in jail. We can see the difference. As a person in a tight spot, you should never throw all your cards on the table. It leaves you with no element of surprise, and your enemy could easily predict your next move. The King is intelligent. Now all he needs to do is play the game, be more cunning.

On that note, I applaud Eun Bo for being a person that stands by her thoughts and beliefs. Once she found out about Baek Ja Yong’s intentions, she stood her ground and made her decision to part ways with him. She is brilliant and always thinks fast. I like that she used the Kim family’s scheme against them during the face reading. I was laughing the entire time. The face reader’s confusion was so amusing.

So far, I am not particularly invested in the romance aspect of this drama. Yes, I love them together, and their sweet moments are adorable to watch. However, there is so much evil lurking around. Hence, my attention is on how they will deal with the upcoming battles. I was so happy when Eun Bo finally opened up about her real identity and told the King about the rebel group. They will need to trust and depend on each other from now on.

It is time to discuss the two young ladies of the Jo and Kim households.

  • Lee Yeol Eum as Young Jiimg_3214 She finally got what she had dreamed of for so long, but I know that she will be paying the price for her decisions in good time. Her entitlement to the King’s love baffles me. Why would you want to be with a man that does not reciprocate the feeling you have for him. Do you think that he would suddenly come to love you after all your father has done? Now she will have to deal with continually feeling jealous. Also, greed will step in because she will never get the King’s love. I honestly hoped that she wouldn’t turn out this way, but oh well.

 

  • Yoo Young as Song Yiimg_3213 She is just interested in power. She has no affection for the King and doesn’t care for her family, except when she needs their support. Song Yi wants is to be the most powerful woman in the country. At least she is an open book to read, unlike many other characters in this series.

Honestly, I still cannot place what the Queen dowager’s intentions are. Maybe she wants to maintain her power in the court. Hence, she is willing to support whoever can be of use to her at the moment. I am intrigued by her character.

  • Another person who throws me off a bit is the Left State Minister, played by Lee Jae Yong img_3215I was shocked when they revealed that he was the one who tried to assassinate the King. Then why allow your daughter to marry him? Even if she does produce an heir, you can’t kill the King immediately. That child has to be a certain age to rule the country. Maybe he thinks he can use Lee Jae Hwa to hold the throne until his grandson reaches the legal age. If so, then his plan will not work. I am just trying to make theories for his actions. Overall, I love how unpredictable these two characters are.

I knew there was a reason why I didn’t like Lee Jae Hwa from the beginning. At first, I sympathized with him because his family was wronged. He is the type of person that destroys anything he can’t have. How could you claim to have loved her? Then you turn around and use her mother as hostage. The only motive I am getting from him so far is greed, entitlement and possessiveness. His actions do not show any plans for building a better world for the people. He wants to be King because he believes it’s his right. Using people at your disposal, without considering their well-being or feelings does not promote a more significant cause.

So far, everyone’s acting has been on point, and I am looking forward to what they bring in the next episodes.

Before starting these new episodes for Queen: Love and War, I had hoped for the storyline to become stronger. Thankfully, I got what I wanted. The last six episodes will be tense, but let’s see how things go.

What do you all think of the series so far?

Someday Or One Day: Drama Review – Episode 1 – 7

Someday Or One Day is an ongoing Taiwanese drama that airs every Sunday. It started broadcasting on the 17th of November 2019. It is set to have thirteen episodes. img_1569Sypnosis: The year is 2019. Huang Yu Xuan pines for the love of her life, her long-time boyfriend, Wang Quan Sheng. She continually checks his social media pages, hoping he will call her, asking to get back together. But one fateful night, Huang Yu Xuan gets hit by a car. She regains consciousness and sees a man she believes to be Wang Quan Sheng sitting by her hospital bedside. She thinks she has finally been reunited with her beloved Wang Quan Sheng! But there’s a huge twist. She is no longer a 27-year-old woman but is now a high school student named Chen Yun Ru. The year is now 1998. And the man by her bedside is not her boyfriend, but a schoolmate named Li Zi Wei. Trapped in what appears to be the past, living another person’s life, she eventually comes to realize that the traffic “accident” that landed Huang Yu Xuan in the hospital may not have been an accident after all. And Chen Yun Ru’s own reasons for being hospitalized are also shrouded in mystery. (Source – Viki).

Use this link to access all released episodes of this drama 👉🏼 Someday or One Day with English Subtitles on Viki

Expectations: This was on my watchlist way before it started airing, so I do have very high hopes for it. The storyline seemed intriguing, and if executed properly, it could be an outstanding drama. Plus, Alice Ke is the lead actress, and her acting is standard, so I have a strong feeling that I will not be disappointed. My only fear is that it might fall to the same dragged-out pace issue that most Taiwanese series face, but I am willing to give it a shot.

(warning -spoilers ahead)

Review:

This drama definitely has all the elements of a well-written project. It showcases romance, suspense, comedy, twists and time-travel. The complexity keeps you intrigued and continuously wondering about what might be coming up next. What theories might be the correct one, and who is who exactly? I am genuinely enjoying every moment.

Before I begin to rant about my thoughts and the aspects that I love, let me discuss ONE thing that could be improved on. The pacing. A massive chunk of episodes one and five felt like fillers. Not a lot of essential details were presented, so in my opinion, it was quite slow. The overall pacing for this drama is okay, but I still think they could pick things up a bit more by reducing the length of some unimportant scenes. Ride more on the thrilling feel, or else people might feel that things are taking too long to unravel. Another thing, Taiwanese dramas tend to have these over-exaggerated characters that are put in to lighten up the mood. An excellent example of one in this show is Ah Tuo. I tend to love or dislike such characters depending on their scenes. So far, they have not shown much of him, so I have no thoughts about his role. Now unto the good stuff –

I am enjoying the OSTs. I absolutely love every song, so I had to add them all to my playlist. The short cameos that happened in the first episode were good. It was nice to see Joanne Tseng as Sunny, the fake animal whisperer. But she was correct about Jesus and 32, so maybe her radar is just faulty.😂😂

Alice Ke did not disappoint as always. She is an amazing actress. She did an outstanding job of portraying the vastly different emotions and expressions of Huang Yu Xuan and Chen Yu Run. All the other actors were also amazing because their interactions were really natural. I appreciate the comedic scenes. They were not much but definitely enough to help release the tension on wanting to know who the killer is. I also commend how forward the characters are with their feelings. Nothing was dragged out for too long. Issues that could have led to a fight or misunderstanding were dealt with immediately.  Perfect. I love watching mature shows like this.

After watching the first two episodes, I had a feeling that Wang Quan Sheng might actually be from the past, and you all should have seen my face when it was finally confirmed to be true. Which means all this while, Li Zi Wei was the one dating Huang Yu Xuan. Even though I had predicted it, it was still a bit surprising to see how it happened. My next guess is that maybe after the plane crash, Li Zi Wei’s soul returned to his original body that was probably in a coma all this while. From the beginning of the drama, I was interested in knowing what connected both timelines. Now, I can tell that it is the walkman that allows them to time travel. Also, the period spent in the past or future is not definite.

Okay, let me state clearly that I was not thrilled about having best friends fight over the same girl. I have mentioned a few times in previous posts that love triangles stress me. Thankfully things progressed differently with this drama, so I hope that they can make some changes to what happened in the past. Because Mo Jun Jie likes Chen Yun Ru, and Li Zi Wei likes Huang Yu Xuan. So I hope that both couples will get a chance to be together by the end of the drama. Also, it looks like Mo Jun Jie was jailed for the murder of Chen Yun Ru, but I do not believe that he killed her. The killer might be that class monitor that happens to be Huang Yu Xuan’s doctor in 2019. He is a whole lot of creepy, and the fact that he likely killed Cai Wen Rou is evidence. Furthermore, he stalks and hallucinates about Yun Ru… HE REALLY CREEPS ME OUT.

The friendship of the three from the past ended on a tragic note. One is jailed for the murder of another, and the surviving person suffered two severe accidents. I sincerely hope that this time travel can help resolve things. Also, one of the primary reasons why I want Yun Ru to live is because the girl was so depressed. I want her to come back and see that she was actually loved. At least Huang Yu Xuan has helped improve her relationship with the mom and brother. Although Mo Jun Jie still remains the only person who truly misses the real Chen Yun Ru.

With seven episodes, we are already halfway through the show. I wonder what will happen next. I think they might focus on changing the past and figuring out who the real killer is. The situation with Chen Yun Ru’s murder could be a lot more complicated than it seems. I have a feeling that there will be a twist, or at least I am hoping for one. Six more episodes, so I hope they keep up. Please do not disappoint me.

I will do my regular character analysis on my next review. Feel free to let me know your thoughts on Someday or One Day in the comment section.

 

Queen: Love and War: Drama Review – Episode 1 – 4

Queen: Love and War is an ongoing Korean historical drama that airs every Saturday and Sunday. It started broadcasting on December 14th of 2019, and it will have a total of sixteen episodes. Screenshot (9)Sypnosis: Kang Eun Bo is on a mission to find the person that murdered her twin sister. She vows to bring whoever it is to justice. But during the Joseon Dynasty era (1392-1910), the only woman with the power to order a manhunt for a murderer is the Queen. So Kang Eun Bo resolves to become Queen. To do so, she must first win the heart of King Lee Kyung. After entering the palace as a candidate for the position of queen, Kang Eun Bo discovers that winning the king’s favour will not be easy. The royal court is already filled with beautiful young women who hope to marry the king. But when the king suddenly realizes that he recognizes Kang Eun Bo from a dream, the two begin to form an unlikely bond.

English subbed episodes of this show are available on Viki 👉🏼 Queen: Love and War on Viki

My Expectations: I do not expect much from the series because I initially did not plan to watch it. Viki kept on promoting it, so I decided to check it out and know what the push was all about. My only prayer is that they will not make me spend hours watching sixteen episodes of the antagonists consistently winning and then give me a rushed finale. Please be good 🙏🏼🙏🏼

(warning – spoilers ahead)

Review:

Honestly, I will have to say that as of now, there is nothing special about this drama. It is pretty much the standard Sageuk formula with revenge, political fights and the constant kdrama cliche of childhood romance. The murder mystery is the only thing keeping me glued. The first two episodes were just there, but by the third one, the story started picking up.

Okay, let me backtrack a little bit. I absolutely love the one-minute intro for this drama, most notably the soundtrack that plays during that time. I was thoroughly entranced by it. I also love the costume colours. Historical series are always a beauty to watch because of the colours and elegance.

Now the timeline arrangement in the first few minutes of episode one was quite confusing, but I knew that there was going to be a flashback that will provide an explanation. So that was not much of an issue. One thing I noticed is that everyone related to the palace has a hidden agenda, and they are all scheming towards achieving their plans. A few still have their mask on (cough)😶 – Lee Jae Hwa. Even Eun Gi was aware that the girl the king met was her twin sister, but yet she went along with his assumption. It was still sad that she died, but she was also not truthful.

In the first two episodes, Lee Kyung came off as a very naive ruler. By openly showing his affection for a candidate before the final stage, he had already put her life in danger. Also, he made promises without making plans that ensured his word. Thankfully, he has learnt, and we can see him showcases his tricks and brains in court. I hope that he gets more people on his side soon and that he actually succeeds in protecting Eun Bo this time around. Another thing – the gunshot to the king’s head, did it actually go through or was it just a graze. I am trying not to question it, but that plotline is kind of questionable because I am not sure of how deep the injury was.

Anyways, I think Lee Jae Hwa might be the gunman that shot Eun Bo’s twin sister. He is sketchy, I do not like two-faced individuals. And I am so not looking forward to the love triangle that is about to go down. Love triangles drain my energy.

Lastly, am I the only one that feels like the synopsis for this drama does not exactly go in sync with the story that has been shown so far. It does not mention that Eun Bo’s twin sister was the queen. I guess that was left out to prevent spoilers, but it also goes on to state that the King is not interested in romance. Hmmm, and apparently he sees Eun Bo in his dreams. Is that not their memory together as children? This is not important, it is just something I noticed.

Character Analysis: I am going to touch on the characters that stood out to me so far, and I will address the others in due time.

  • Jin Se Yeon as Kang Eun Bo/Kang Eun Gi Screenshot (3)This is my third drama with Ji Se Yeon in a lead role. I previously saw her in The Bridal Mask and Doctor Stanger, but I still have not gotten a real taste of her acting skills. So far, she is doing a great job in this series, and her character seems very promising. As Eun Gi, she was soft-spoken and very gentle, but as Eun Bo, she has high energy and is quite street smart. Also, I think her connections with the investigation agency might be of great aid to her as queen. She will need all the support she can access. I admire the fact that she does not act rashly based on her doubts concerning the King. She actually investigates. I hope she stops believing everything that Baek Ja Yong tells her. He is using her to achieve his goals. I know this will be a cause for conflict at some point.

 

  • Kim Min Kyu as Lee KyungScreenshot (4)Yes he does start off a bit naive and weak. But if he continues to keep up and improve on the momentum from episodes three and four, he might turn out to be a solid character. I appreciate his zeal to rule his nation in the right way and serve his people as a ruler should. Unfortunately, with all the forces against him in court, there will be a long fight to achieve that ideal. I was so angry when they showed how he was threatened as a kid to sign the petition against Eun Bo’s father. That is just brutal, so his revenge should take up the same energy. Also, I think he signed the letter with the wrong character because Eun Bo kept on looking at it suspiciously, but we will see how things go. All the same, he needs to learn how to conceal his intentions more and start working towards getting trustworthy people to his side.

 

  • Do Sang Woo as Lee Jae HwaScreenshot (5)Like I already mentioned, I do not appreciate this character so far. Yes, he is kind to Eun Bo and always saves her, but the fact that he is plotting something unknown and pretends to be someone else really throws me off. What if he actually turns out to be the gunman that killed Eun Gi?… Ooo, the betrayal. Now he is already in love with Eun Bo, but she is going to be Queen. That will only cause him to want the throne more, which means he might not stay nice for too long. I know that some people already caught the “second lead syndrome,” but I am so not going down that lane. I can clearly see where this boat is sailing to. I hope he surprises me because, so far, I do not have a good impression of Lee Jae Hwa.

 

  • Uhm Hyo Sub as Baek Ja YongScreenshot (12)Starting out this drama, I had a feeling that he was not wholly trustworthy. This actor tends to take on villain roles, so I did not believe the act, but I still gave him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, I was right. He is so manipulative. I think he was manipulating Eun Bo’s father as well, but there is no proof of that yet. He does not care for Eun Bo’s safety, all that matters is the power to make the change he desires. Why does he withhold the whole truth from her? He picks the parts that suit the narration to entice her, so annoying.

 

  • Jung Ae Ri as Queen Dowager Screenshot (6)Her character is kind of intriguing. She certainly was not pleased about Lee Kyung being alive. At the same time, she does things that may look like she supports the king. My opinion is that her agenda is to fight against the Queen’s clan. Basically, she is willing to do anything to stop the Kim clan from gaining more control in court. Even if it means killing her grandson, who holds blood relations with them. I am excited to see how her character evolves and what her actual intentions are.

Although Queen: Love and War did not provide a solid premiere, it does have the potential to get better. So I will be looking forward to more episodes.

What do you all think of the series so far?

 

MY TOP 10 DRAMAS FOR 2019

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR in advance to all my awesome readers. May your holidays be filled with joy and love, and I wish you all the best for 2020.

For this post, I will be sharing my top 10 Asian dramas that aired in 2019. I was seriously contemplating whether to make this list or not because I did not watch a lot of shows this year, and I am still trying to complete some.

My list will be based solely on the shows that I actually completed this year. And yes, I did finish more than ten, so it was still a bit difficult picking my top 10. Also, this is my opinion. If anyone feels that other dramas could be top 10 for 2019, leave your list in the comment section.

#Bonus – Kingdom

img_2321Crown Prince Lee Chang has been labelled a traitor by the Haewon Cho clan (the clan of the current Queen). Due to the political plot against him, he embarks upon a mission to investigate the spread of the mysterious undead plague that has beset the king and the nation’s southern provinces.

I enjoyed every moment of this drama. It was exciting, every scene captured my attention. This series is listed as a bonus because I am yet to finalize my feelings about the show. After all, we were left with a major cliff hanger by the end of season one. All the same, it was an excellent zombie-themed drama, and I am looking forward to the next part. I also wrote a review for the first season, so if you want to get a more detailed opinion, use this link 👉🏼 KINGDOM: Drama Review.

Now onto my official list –

#10. Put Your Head On My Shoulder

img_2324As Si Tu Mo’s graduation is nearing, she is confused about her future plans. She tries out all sorts of things but is still unable to make her own decisions. Her ordinary days are suddenly shaken up when she meets the genius Physics student Gu Wei Yi. The two accidentally end up living together.

This was a delightful drama to watch, but not anything utterly different from the regular college shows. I enjoyed it because it was a chill romance story and the main couple were so cute together. I felt relaxed while watching this couple figure out things without too much drama. I have watched this series more than once, and it always puts me in a good mood all the time.

#9 – Before We Get Married

img_0660Zhou WeiWei is about to marry her long term boyfriend, Li Hao Yi. Chu Ke Huan has been dating his girlfriend Gao Zi Yuan for ten years but has no plans of getting married. After a coincidental meeting between WeiWei and Ke Huan, everything changes. They begin to develop romantic feelings towards each other, and although they try to stay friends, fate has other plans for them.

I already wrote a review, so go check it out 👉🏼 BEFORE WE GET MARRIED: Drama Review. This was the only Taiwanese drama aside from Someday Or One Day that caught my attention this year. What sold this show was the couple’s chemistry. They were phenomenal together, and I definitely would not mind watching it again. I also enjoyed the beautiful soundtracks. The reason for it being #9 on my list can be known if you read my review ☝🏼.

#8 – Her Private Life

img_2322Sung Deok Mi is a talented chief curator at Cheum Museum Art Gallery, but in private, she is a fanatic fangirl of White Ocean’s Cha Si An. Ryan Gold is an artist who can no longer paint. After the current boss of the museum gets involved in an embezzlement case, Ryan becomes the new art director. Due to a sasaeng fan’s post, rumours about Deok Mi allegedly dating Si An begin to spread. To ward off Si An’s fans who threaten to harm her, Ryan suggests that he and Deok Mi pretend to date.

This is my best romantic comedy series for this year. The main couple had very natural interactions, and the development of their relationship was not too stressful to watch. I have also written a review for it, so go check it out 👉🏼 HER PRIVATE LIFE: Drama Review. This is low on my list because the storyline is quite a cliche in comparison to the remaining dramas that are to be listed.

#7 – Angel’s Last Mission: Love

img_2344Lee Yeon Seo is cynical and arrogant. She was a prima ballerina, but after an accident that took away her sight, she had to give up her dream. After her parent’s sudden death, she does not trust anyone since there are a lot of people lurking around her to steal her wealth. Kim Dan is an optimistic, carefree angel who is always getting into trouble. To return to heaven, he is tasked with a mission to find true love for the talented but emotionally distant ballerina.

👏👏👏👏👏👏👏 Kudos to Shin Hye Sun. The lady can act. Her scenes made me cry. I seriously connected with her character on a spiritual level. And L also impressed me with his acting. He keeps getting better with each project he works on. The storyline for this drama is quite unique. The cinematography and detail of the ballet performances were incredible and captivating to see as a viewer. The only reason why this series is in the second half of my list is because, towards the end, the pacing became a bit slower than necessary. The original soundtracks for Angel’s Last Mission: Love are lovely but still have a hint of sadness all over them. My favourite OST that never fails to make me cry is “A welcome rain” by Lee Moon Sae.

#6 – Le Coup de Foudre

78648d65-aefe-4e6e-b11a-f02c5b1287f1-7224-0000053c7c73af6fZhao Qiao Yi and Yan Mo may have been high school classmates, but the only thing they had in common was the desk they shared in class. One a top student, the other failing miserably. These two could not have been more different and yet, it does not take long for a strong bond to form between them. This is a story about a pair of lovers from their high school to adult life.

Naturally, I automatically fall in love with anything that has Janice Wu’s name on it. I find her cute, and she is also a good actress that has the potential to become better with time. Le Coup de Foudre is a sweet romance story. The leads were incredible together. This drama was realistic, and down to earth, so it felt relatable. I got more emotional about the story after discovering that it was based on the author’s actual experience. I did not start this show with much expectation. I was simply looking for something new to watch, but it really surprised me. Apart from romance, I also admired the bond that the siblings had. The comedic scenes were also quite wild. I laughed way more than I was supposed to. The only thing I can point out as a negative is the weird haze-like style of videography that was used. Apart from that, I will recommend this series to anyone who wants to enjoy a slow-burn, romance story. 

#5 – Doctor John

img_2320A drama about doctors that specialize in pain management. Cha Yo Han is a genius anesthesiologist, who goes by the nickname “10 Seconds.” Referring to his ability to figure out his patients’ problems in the ten seconds that it takes for them to enter an examination room and walk to their seat. Kang Shi Young is a legendary anesthesiologist, who was always at the top of her class throughout medical school. But due to an accident, she leaves the hospital. During her leave, she meets Cha Yo Han, and everything about Si Young’s life totally changes.

Ji Sung never disappoints. This was an excellent medical drama. It was nice to see something different from the regular focus on surgical departments. Lee Se Young continues to impress me with each project she takes on. I love her growth throughout the series, and she really did well in creating chemistry between her and Ji Sung. I could feel their longing for each other. Also, this series focused on a sensitive topic, which is euthanasia. The debate concerning this procedure has been going on for a long time, and everyone has their distinct opinions about it. I think they did a fantastic job of bringing some light to the topic and showing different perspectives from the doctors to the patients.

#4 – Hotel del Luna

img_2318Jang Man Wol is the CEO of Hotel del Luna. A unique hotel with a timeworn appearance situated in downtown Seoul. Man Wol made an error many years ago and has been stuck at Hotel del Luna ever since then. She is a beautiful and greedy lady. Goo Chan Sung worked as the youngest assistant manager ever at a multinational hotel corporation. Due to an unexpected case, he begins to work as a manager at Hotel del Luna. This hotel’s clients consist only of ghosts.

The main reason why I really love this show is because of the ghost element and Man Wol’s fashion. Yes, the storyline is also amazing, but I feel that 2019 did not give me enough ghost stories to quench my horror drought, so I was super grateful for Hotel del Luna. Aside from that, this was a beautiful drama. The story was refreshing, the actors brought their A-game, and the cinematography was stunning. IU definitely proved her worth as a lead actress with this series. I feel she has been doing amazing and growing with each work, but I am glad that a good number of people finally saw her potential with this role. Yeo Jin-goo also did great. It is always a pleasure watching him on screen. All the cast members brought a nice touch to this project, and I sincerely loved it. Also, can I just rant about the soundtrack for a while? This definitely has the best OST album for Korean dramas in 2019. Every song was beautiful and so well fitted.

#3 – The Untamed

586bb009-faf9-458a-9e8e-19eb17c4968d-7224-0000053cd3643fdcLan Wangji was born in the prominent Sect of the Gusu Lan. He is seen as a hero and the role model of everyone in the cultivation world. While Wei Wuxian, the Yiling Patriarch, was a name that was feared by everyone. He has done many heroic deeds but also cruel ones. In the end, Wei Wuxian was killed by his brother after he became too evil to exist. Or at least that is what the legend says. Sixteen years after his death, Wei Wuxian suddenly reappeared again at the Mo Village. Was Wei Wuxian really as evil as the legends portray?

Another drama that definitely deserves all the hype it gets. The entire cast did a fantastic job. I loved watching every moment of it. The comedic typing was perfect, and the emotional scenes broke my heart. I did shed tears in those hard episodes. My poor baby, Wei Wuxian. This series introduced me to so many amazing talents, and I hope that they all got their big break. I have some information concerning the upcoming dramas for Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo, but I have not heard much about the rest of the cast. I will do my research before the year runs out. The Untamed will forever have a place in my heart. I LOVE WEI WUXIAN.

#2 – Love and Destiny

img_2316 Fifty thousand years ago, Jiu Chen, the god of war, fell into a deep slumber after sealing away the demon lord. Ling Xi accidentally wakes him from his sleep, and they fall in love. It is discovered that Ling Xi was born with an evil miasma that can help the demon lord break free and rise to power. Jiu Chen refuses to kill an innocent and tries to change Ling Xi’s fate.

Honestly, if I did not already have my number one, this drama could have quickly taken that spot. I feel many people misjudged this show based on the actors and short trailers. When I first started watching, it had no English subs, but I could already see the potential for it to be awesome if they kept up with the same momentum of the first few episodes. I had to wait a bit, and thankfully Viki got the license, but the number of unnecessary comments on the main actor’s looks was insane. Right from the first episode, I found him to be one of the most handsome older guys I have seen. He is among that Chen Kun category to me and I am glad that the naive ones finally accepted the awesomeness that is Chang Chen by the end of the series. This role was specifically created for him, and he nailed it. Also, the visual goddess Ni Ni held her part down. Every single person that took part in this project was a joy to watch. I usually never complete god-themed shows, but this was an exception. I was so happy about how the story progressed, and the ending was perfect. Although I would have loved to see their wedding but all the same, I am satisfied. If you have not seen Love and Destiny already, what are you waiting for?

#1 – The Story Of Ming Lan

fd5b3660-173e-4002-8189-aaed3f4fd089-4969-000004a6ab46f042The Story of Ming Lan follows the concubine-born sixth child of the Sheng household from her childhood into adulthood. Ming Lan first meets Gu Ting Ye, the second son of the Gu Family, as his rival in a game of Touhu. But when she reencounters him in a time of need, he goes to great lengths to help her. This dynamic plays out on a grander scale when they meet again as adults. Both Ming Lan and Ting Ye are unfavored children who suffer as a result of internal scheming in their households.

Hands down one of the best series I have ever watched. Yes, it started airing on the 25th of December, 2018 but ran till February 13th of this year. Some people complained about the slow story progression, but honestly, the drama clearly has a slice of life tag, what do you expect? For me, the pacing was perfect and essential to understanding the family dynamics for each character and following Ming Lan’s story. I have rewatched this drama numerous times, and I never get bored. You know a show is too good when you still cry at the emotional scenes even after watching it up to five times. All the actors and actresses did a fantastic job. Also, the cinematography, most notably the lighting for the houses, was spot on. I have a lot of great things to point out about this series, but time will not permit me to do so on this post. If you have not seen it, go watch it and be patient for the epicness to develop.

Other Notable Mentions include:

  • Graceful Family
  • The Legend Of White Snake
  • The Crowned Clown
  • The Fiery Priest
  • Search: WWW

If you also enjoyed any of these listed dramas, please spam me with comments about what you loved. And if you have not seen any of these dramas, please grab some popcorn and have yourself a merry movie night or day.

Once again, MERRY CHRISTMAS.🎄🎄🎄

 

 

TEN YEARS LATE: Drama Review

Ten Years Late is a 2019 Chinese TV series that tells the story of six young individuals and their different approaches to building a new life in the big city.

Sypnosis: Jin Ran gives up his high-paying position in Japan for the sake of love. He takes up a job as the Chief Operating Officer of a tourism company and gets reunited with his first love Yuan Lai as he jumps at the chance to pursue her again. Career woman Xu Xin Yi crosses paths with professional gamer Ding An to start their lives as a couple, but things do not turn out as planned. Zhao Cheng Zhi, a lawyer, making strides in establishing his own practice, butts heads with intern Shen Shuang Shuang and her bright and bubbly personality brings excitement to his otherwise monotonous life (Source: MyDramaList).

My Expectations: This was definitely one of the dramas I was looking forward to watching in 2019. I love Shawn Dou, and I was committed to checking out all his leading roles for 2019. I even downloaded the iQiyi app to watch this show in full HD. In conclusion, my expectation was remarkably high. I also know a few other faces among the main cast, so I was assured that it was going to be a good watch.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: This was a great series to watch, but I will have to say that it was just there. Let me break it down by starting with the couples in the show. Here is my ranking of the three couples –

#1. Ding An and Xu Xin Yi3518d7bb-dc21-4ca4-92b5-79f01153779f-4007-00000393b00ed19aThey had CHEMISTRY. This pairing was the complete package, and if given the opportunity, they could be the main couple. Their story was compelling, and the love they shared for each other was evident for all to see. They made the show for me.

#2. Zhao Chen Zhi and Shen Shuang Shuang0b15ce0d-c1f2-40c0-a76c-db52c4af02b6-4007-00000393b97b9628This two had the typical characteristics of secondary couples. I still love them, though. They were cute and funny together. They brought out the best in each other and were very supportive of each other until the end.

#3. Jin Ran and Yuan Laif143fe40-9016-4145-8663-cb4dbdee531a-4007-00000393c3a7efcfUnfortunately, the main couple was my least favourite. Something was definitely missing. The constant on-off was a bit unbearable for me. It made me feel like they were never officially dating. I mean, the other two couples had more romantic scenes and spent more time together compared to our leads here.

Here are the elements and moments I truly enjoyed while watching Ten Years Late

  • One thing that kept me wanting more of this series was Ding An and Xin Yi’s relationship. I just loved watching them together. They were my anchor, and, sadly, they did not get to have a happy ending like the other couples.
  • I also lived for the sweet little moments between the other two pairings.
  • I admire the friendship, loyalty and trust they all had. Jin Ran, Yuan Lai, Chen Zhi,  Shuang Shuang, Ding An and Xin Yi were like a family that always lent a hand to each other in times of need. This very fact brought comfort to me after Ding An’s death because I knew that Xin Yi had people to look after her.
  • This is not too important, but I like that the progression of Xin Yi’s pregnancy was made to look as realistic as possible.
  • The cinematography for this drama was stunning. I love the colour palette for the show, it was so clean and captivating. I absolutely loved the snow scenes in Japan and the island scenes that were used during the tourism work.
  • Another thing was the fashion. Everyone’s outfit in the show was well chosen. It fitted each character’s trait to wear the clothes they had on throughout the series. I also would not mind stealing a few pieces from the ladies’ wardrobe.
  • Lastly, the soundtracks for this show were lovely. My favourite is “Fortunately, We Meet Again” by Juno Su. I featured this OST as my song for last week. If you have not read that post yet, use this link to check it out 👉🏼 Juno Su – Fortunately, We Meet Again: Song Of The Week

Now here is a list of the things that led me to conclude that Ten Years Late was not anything exceptional but only an okay drama –

  • Like I mentioned already, the main couple did not do much for me. They did get engaged in the last episode, but throughout the rest of the show, all they did was resolve countless misunderstandings. I will admit that they still had a few lovely moments together, but I needed to see them interact more as a couple because I was not sold. I just accepted the fact that Jin Ran and Yuan Lai are an item. The leads are supposed to carry a show, so when that is not happening, there is a problem.
  • The last few episodes were quite frustrating to watch. The sudden and intense focus on Chu Yun and Gu Sa was not necessary. Also, what it led to was heartbreaking to watch. I feel they could have spread out this tension more instead of packing all this angst into the last few episodes. Gu Sa could have been a closed chapter mid-series, and Chu Yun should not even be a character. This is just my personal opinion.
  • Ding An’s Death – This was a big blow to me. Just three episodes left, and they killed off my favourite character. I get that they wanted to prove the point that time waits for no one, so hold on dearly to your loved ones while you still have the chance, but I am still pissed. I kept on praying for him to survive. His death reminds me of Xiao Qiu’s last-minute death from the Chinese drama – Across The Ocean To See You. I kind of understand the writer’s decision for Ding An, but as a viewer, I was still disappointed and heartbroken.
  • Overall, while watching this drama, the storyline was not just flowing as expected. It kind of dragged. I found my self skipping some scenes to avoid being bored with irrelevant dialogues.

Character Analysis:

Gülnezer Bextiyar – Yuan Lai. 1e1907e3-cb00-4e5d-b8db-61992fe62086-4007-00000393f89f8da3I feel Gülnezer Bextiyar is an actress with potential, but most times, her characters tend to be quite flat. I hope that she gets a role that finally showcases her skills. She was okay as Yuan Lai, but this was definitely not her best. I also understand that it was hard for Yuan Lai to fully trust Jin Ran because of all the new findings that came up about him. But at the same time, I did not appreciate how she would just completely ignore him instead of directing asking him about what she had heard or seen. Some of the misunderstandings could have been cleared if she spoke up. All the same, Yuan Lai was brilliant and fabulous at her job. She was also very supportive of her friends. So an okay character, I guess.

Shawn Duo – Jin Ran. af6a4477-ebb2-42ab-9ced-f10cf5ad23c0-4007-0000039445f1c150Shawn did a fantastic job as Jin Ran, but again the chemistry between him and Gülnezer was not as strong compared to the other two couples. That aside, Jin Ran is someone who has made a few mistakes and was ready to start afresh and live differently. I feel that most of the misunderstandings between him and Yuan Lai could have been prevented if he was more open. Before even trying to rekindle their relationship, he should have told her about his time in Japan. At least that could have prevented all the constant time offs the main couple experienced throughout the series.

Kanazawa Hao Kim – Ding An.aa5861e7-c6e4-4188-a399-20080d7f50ff-4007-00000393d961abcaDing An… Ding An. I just cannot accept the writer’s decision to kill the best character of the series. After all the work he put into dating Xin Yi and getting married to her… SAD. He was finally going to get his family together, and he did not even get to see his child… SAD. Kanazawa Hao Kim did a fantastic job of portraying such a beautiful character. I love that he always went for what he desired, both with his career and love life. The chemistry between him and Wang Rain was superb. I will love to see them as a leading couple in a new drama because they indeed sold this series for me. Ding An truly loved Xin Yi with all his heart, and it really broke my heart that they could not be together till the end.

#4. Wang Rain – Xu Xin Yi. 43350cc7-d081-48c6-964b-53d6d457e056-4007-00000393e079a0a5I absolutely love her character. This is my first time watching Wang Rain, but I will be checking out her other works soon. She is an exceptional actress. I admired Xin Yi’s independence. Initially, she did not want to depend on Ding An in any way, but with time she learnt to let him in a little bit. She allowed him to be her emotional support. I love how she was always sure of what she wanted and did not compromise at any moment, but my one wish was for her to be a bit more understanding towards Ding An. Yes, they had a lot of sweet moments together, but most of their arguments were blown out of proportion because of their inability to hear each other out. She was definitely my favourite girl in the group. I live for her no-nonsense character.

#5. Jeremy Jones Xu – Zhao Cheng Zhi. afe98086-cdd9-4d2a-b3f4-37195c1d2033-4007-00000393ef6311c3I am so glad that his role was not made to be the frustrating third wheel to Jin Ran and Yuan Lai’s relationship. I hate when people refuse to let go of things that are clearly not working out for them. So I am so happy that he had the opportunity to get closure and move on to his own relationship. He still cared a lot for her as a friend, which was great. It took him a while to give in to his feelings for Shen Shuang Shuang, but he was fully committed once he did. I think he fell in love with her after that spider incident that almost killed him. Even though he did not want to be a lawyer, he was a great one, but in the end, he decided to chase his dreams of photography.

#6. Cecilia Boey – Shen Shuang Shuang. 5b117ed0-ebe5-44d6-a99e-8ade567b716e-4007-00000393e7b8e57cMy first drama of Cecilia Boey was Walk Into Your Memory, which was also released this year. I think she did great on that show, so I was super excited to see her in a new series. Her character as Shen Shuang Shuang started out a bit annoying and over the top, but with more episodes, she got better. She showcased how smart and depending she could be when situations called for it. I love how she easily fused into the friend circle. Her bubbly and caring personality definitely brought some diversity and balance among the girls in the group. At some point, I found her pursuit for Cheng Zhi to be quite overbearing, but for a character like his to take notice of Shuang Shuang, I believe her method was essential. I also appreciate how she changed her strategy from pursuit to making him work for her attention. He honestly needed to put in that work. Shen Shuang Shuang was also an excellent support system for Cheng Zhi and also a means to help him loosen up more. I definitely came to appreciate her presence by the end of the series.


Overall, my rating for Ten Years Late is 7.5/10 because although it was a good watch, it failed to meet my expectations. It had a good number of exciting moments but could not capture my attention all the time, so I found my self skipping some scenes. The acting was okay, the storyline was promising, but there were a few misses with the execution.

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

That is all I have for this post. I simply wanted to give a quick review of this drama since I just finished watching it. Feel free to leave your thoughts about this series in the comment section.

💕💕💕

PRETTY PROOFREADER: Drama Review

Pretty Proofreader, also known as Jimi ni Sugoi! Koetsu Garu Kono Etsuko is a 2016 Japanese drama that focuses on Kono Etsuko’s career life. Etsuko has always loved fashion, so she applies to a publishing company with dreams of becoming a fashion editor. But instead, she gets assigned to the unlively proofreading department.

Pretty Proofreader is based on Koetsu Garu, a novel written by Ayako Miyagi.

The drama has a total of eleven episodes, and it is 13+ restricted. All episodes of this show are available with English subtitles on Viki – Pretty Proofreader – full episodes

My Expectations: I discovered this drama while searching for entertaining Japanese shows to watch. Although I noticed it a few times, I skipped because I did not feel it was going to be good. Finally, after some time, I decided to give it a try because of the main actress. I absolutely adore Ishihara Satomi, she is an amazing actress. Also, Japanese dramas are short and straight to the point, so I had high hopes of not being too disappointed.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: This has definitely become one of my favourite shows. It has everything I usually look for in a drama. I can confirm for sure that it exceeded my expectations. I thought it was going to be another classic romantic comedy, but instead, I got a perfect slice of life storyline with excellent acting. Everything was well structured. The writing is brilliant, and the show is very educative. In each episode, we got different stories that were really heartwarming, sincere and lesson filled. Although this drama had a bit of romance here and there, it definitely was not the main focus because the main couple does not start dating until the last episode. Still, I really admired how they both supported and encouraged each other. They were adorable together. The drama focused more on character growth, support and acceptance between co-workers and friends.

There is a lot to be learned from Kono Etsuko’s career journey. One of the most prominent lessons is to never give up on your dreams BUT always remember that everyone is allowed to have more than one purpose, so do not remain stuck for too long on the plans that fail. Find your fulfillment in something else. I will outline more lessons later on towards the end of the review.

After watching Pretty Proofreader, I have really come to appreciate how much work goes into publishing a book. It was sad to see that the proofreading sector hardly got recognition for a job well done, but once a mistake was found, it was ultimately their fault. Now I know for sure that editors get a lot of credit for their work, but I am not sure if all publishing companies have proofreading departments and how well they appreciate the members of that department. All the same, it gives a lesson that we should value the unsung heroes in various work fields. This is why I was so excited when Yukito decided to write his book about professions that hardly get recognition for how much they contribute to society.

Another thing I truly enjoyed about this drama is the cinematography. The landscape scenes were stunning. It definitely made me want to visit Japan even though I already have the country on my bucket list for travels. 

Also, the opening theme for the series is cute. The song is catchy, and the scrapbook animation they used was fun to watch. I was able to find a short recording section of the opening song on YouTube – 

Character Analysis: 

#1. Kono Etsuko –Screenshot (134)Ishihara Satomi is beautiful. I have seen her in 5-Ji Kara 9-Ji Made, Dear Sister, and I am currently watching Takane no Hana and Heaven. She definitely brought life to her character in this drama. All her scenes were believable, and her expressions were great.

Kono Etsuko is shown to be smart, confident, determined, extremely honest and funny. She is also quite tactless, but as the show progresses, she becomes better. I love that even though she did not get her desired job, she was still very passionate and hardworking. Etsuko tried her best to perfect each task assigned to her. She went out of her way to verify the facts and also met with writers to make sure that everything written in a manuscript is logical and correct. While working in the proofreading department, she still maintained her glamorous fashion sense and gradually began to appreciate her job as a proofreader. She always had the best comebacks whenever someone tried to belittle her. And her cheerful personality never failed to brighten up the mood of everyone around her. I find it cute that whenever Etsuko got super excited, she would start talking very fast in a high pitched voice. I really loved a good number of her outfits in this show, but I will talk more about her fashion in a separate post. All these great qualities are what quickly made her enter my list for top female lead characters. Her story showed that sometimes adversaries in life can be an opportunity for growth. Another key lesson from her is that even though certain things in life do not go according to plan, it is still up to you to make the best out of your current situation.

One of my favourites scenes of Kono Etsuko is when she puts a few rude guys in their place by showing them that women are not only concerned with sweets and fashion – 

By the end of the show, I could tell that Etsuko was meant for the proofreading department. Yes, she loves fashion, but there was a different kind of pleasure she got from proofreading. I am glad that they made out a way for her to take part in both sectors.

#2. Orihara Yukito –Screenshot (124).pngThis is the first drama I have watched from Suda Masaki, so I do not really know much about him, but he impressed me with his role as Orihara Yukito.

Etsuko perfectly describes this character. This is what she said to Yukito – “you are always honest to yourself and living a slow life at your own pace.” 

Honestly, I did not care much for Yukito at first, but as the story progressed, I began to appreciate how insightful and considerate he was. Yukito is a very mature and chilled character. He does not get angry quickly, but that also affects his ability to express his discomfort with specific situations. This became an issue when he had to deal with his new editor, who kept staying in his house till late and doing unnecessary chores. I honestly wish he had said something to the editor himself, instead of having Etsuko frustrated to the point that she had to storm in and point out how uncomfortable she was with the situation. But overall, he is a charming character. One of his good qualities that I admire was how quick he apologized whenever he hurt Etsuko’s feelings. I also found his smile to be very cute. He is one of those people that make you want to smile once they smile.

His insightful nature became more prominent with his choice of topic for his new novel. His book was really inspiring and informative. The scene where he shows his latest work to Esuko is my favourite moment of the entire series. Yukito got inspired by how much passion Etsuko put into her work and how frustrating it was for her that members of the proofreading department never get the recognition they deserve. This goes to show that as people, we never know who we are impacting or inspiring, so do not ever feel like you are irrelevant or unimportant. Keep doing your best because there might be someone who looks up to you. 

I was so happy that Yukito finally found what he was passionate about. I understand how frustrating it can be to not know what direction to take. Also, working on something interesting does motivate you to achieve the best result.

#3. Morio Toyoko – Screenshot (114).pngMorio gave me a lot of mixed feelings for a good number of episodes. I was very skeptical about her. At first, it seemed like she looked down on Etsuko and was always avoiding her but also felt comfortable enough to hang out in her house. And when I discovered that the man she was dating was already married. I was quite confused and concerned.

As the story progressed, I got to understand Morio more. I love such characters because of the development and growth they go through. If the writing for her had taken a wrong turn, she would have come off to be the typical one-dimensional second lead lady, but I am so glad that they killed that cliche.

Yes, she felt inferior to Etsuko, but with time she grew past that and began to focus more on herself. This change made her realize that she did not need to beg a married man for love and that she was neglecting a sincere friend just because of envy. She also started showing more passion and sincerity towards her work and others. I definitely warmed up to Morio Toyoko by the end of the series.

#5. Kaizuka Hachiro –img_1107Hachiro and Etsuko always bickered like an old married couple. I love the nicknames they had for each other. She called him octopus, and he called her Kou Etsu because her name in some way translates to proofreading.

He might seem annoying to some viewers at first, but he is actually a great character. As an editor, he cares about his writers and goes the extra mile to make sure that their books come out perfect. He really impressed me by not giving up on Yukito and continuously encouraging him to try and write something substantial again. Also, when octopus met a writer who he had disappointed in the past, he tried his best to help out. So kudos to a character that was willing to own up to his mistakes and work to better himself. Here is a clip of my favourite moment from him – 

#4. Co-Workers in the Proofreading Department –

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Etsuko had a significant effect on her colleagues and the entire mood of the office. Evidence no. 1 – Office decor: img_1197I find it so funny that I did not take much notice of how different the office looked compared to when it was first introduced. I saw her bring in a few decors here and there but never took to heart the final result until it was pointed out in episode ten.

Anyways she made other members of the department start taking extra measures to verify the facts for each manuscript. Even Ms. Fujiwa, who was always against Etsuko’s methods, went out of the office for research. Ms. Fujiwa and Etsuko’s relationship is an excellent example of how unlikely connections can blossom into a good friendship. I was so impressed by how everyone in the office supported and cared for each other. They helped Etsuko when she made mistakes and were so worried about her the one time she did not dress up as usual or give her daily cheerful greeting.


Lessons learned: 

There were a lot of gems given out in each episode. I have already mentioned a few, so here are more lessons that could be learned from this drama.

  • Everyone struggles at some point, that is life. So do not undermine another person’s pain just because you cannot understand or relate to it. Be kind, and if you are capable, try to be a sound support system through someone’s struggles.
  • Refrain from making assumptions or speculating based on what you see.
  • Communication is essential. Do not expect people to know exactly how you feel, voice it out.
  • Envy and jealousy can ruin you, Be yourself.

These are the little things which we might not really pay attention to, but as humans, we are prone to go against most of these lessons. Sometimes I also fall to the disease of making very drastic assumptions, but I try my best to stop it once I notice.


Before I end this post, let me share with you all a very hilarious moment in the show. I call it Etsuko’s bad outfit day –

I honestly laughed way too hard at this scene. The sequence of Etsuko’s realization took me out.

Okay… overall, this drama was very positive and inspiring. It made me very happy. There was no unnecessary tension. It was perfect from start to finish, and I could definitely rewatch it. I really recommend this series. So my rating for Pretty Proofreader is 10/10.

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

BEFORE WE GET MARRIED: Drama Review

I cannot believe that I have not written a drama review since July. Honestly, sometimes dramas become too repetitive or similar, so I usually take a break and then come back when I find something interesting. Currently, I have a good list of dramas that I plan to review.

For today, I will be reviewing Before We Get Married. Also known as Wo Men Bu Neng Shi Peng You (We Cannot Be Friends). It is a 2019 Taiwanese drama that stars Puff Kuo and Jasper Liu as leads. The drama’s plot is adapted from an original novel of the same name, written by Fang-Yun Tsai (pen name – Ayamei).img_0660Sypnosis: Zhou WeiWei is about to marry her long term boyfriend, Li Hao Yi. Chu Ke Huan has been dating his girlfriend Gao Zi Yuan for ten years but has no plans of getting married. After a coincidental meeting between WeiWei and Ke Huan, everything changes. They begin to develop romantic feelings towards each other, and although they try to stay friends, fate has other plans for them. This is a romantic drama about love, betrayal, and friendship.

Before We Get Married has a total of thirteen episodes. It is 18+ restricted because of some mature scenes. Although I bet that most people will not follow that rule. Going into this drama, I was definitely expecting infidelity. I also knew that this was a more matured concept compared to the regular romantic comedy storylines. And although I was not pleased with the idea of them cheating on their respective partners, I decided to give the show a chance mainly because of Puff Kuo and Jasper Liu. I also hoped that since the story was focused on such a delicate topic, then the entire team must have put in more effort into creating a standard series.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

One thing that really threw me off was the forceful actions of Chu Ke Huan in the first two to three episodes. I am glad that he was not portrayed like that throughout the entire show because I dislike watching such scenes. It reminded me of the forceful wrist grabs in Korean dramas. Honestly, there is nothing romantic about those slow motioned wrist grabs, absolutely nothing. That aside, the chemistry between the leads was electrifying. Of course, this is not their first time working together, so that is expected. They previously starred in the 2014 Taiwanese drama – Pleasantly Surprised. And they have also maintained a good friendship outside of their work scene, so I definitely expected their chemistry as a couple to be intense.

Before We Get Married is the first Taiwanese drama to have caught my attention in a long time. It was refreshing to watch, and the actors did an excellent job of bringing their characters to life. I was frustrated at who I was supposed to be frustrated at, and I also came to love the characters that were meant to be appreciated. So kudos to the actors and the entire production crew for a job well done.

This drama’s main plot is settled around two couples and betrayal. But before judging based on the infidelity involved, try to take into consideration that these two couples were already unstable from the start. And although cheating is still in no way justifiable, the drama really does well to show what caused both couples to drift apart. 

In Chu Ke Huan and Gao Zi Yan’s case, they were both aware of the lack of love in their relationship, but they left things vague for too long. That made everything harder to untangle when Ke Huan decided to break off the relationship. And in Zhou WeiWei and Li Hao Yi’s case, one partner was always going along with the other’s decisions and plans. In the long run, it caused the opinion of the overcompensating partner to be disregarded entirely. Both couples were already ticking time bombs waiting to go off. I do not condone cheating, but I can clearly see how their situation led them to make mistakes.

Now, although it was a refreshing drama to watch, I must admit that the story got a little bit slow towards the end. I am happy that the episodes were kept short because if the drama had run any longer, it would have lost its quality. Also, there are a few issues that remained unresolved by the end of the series. The first is the sudden disappearance of Chu Ke-Huan’s best friend, Yang Bai Yang. I know that he was transferred, but after that incident, he was utterly erased from the drama. Even his role as Han Ke Fei’s potential boyfriend was written off. So I guess the writer had to boost up Liu Da Wei’s character to fill up the void. I just felt that his disappearance was abrupt and could have been handled better. The second issue is the abortion case of Gao Zi Yuan. So we got to know that the relationship between her and Ke Huan began to deteriorate after she aborted their baby without his permission. But what was never mentioned was her reason behind doing so. Maybe they decided to skip that because they felt it was irrelevant. But in my opinion, they should have included it as a way of giving her a fair judgement.

For a more detailed review, let us talk about the main characters –

#1. Puff Kuo – Zhou WeiWeiimg_0782Right from the first scene with Zhou WeiWei and Li Hao Yi, I could tell that there was something off about their relationship. But from WeiWei’s perspective, her relationship was perfect. Honestly, when you become accustomed to a pattern, you can hardly tell if it is wrong or right unless you take a time-out and check yourself. So, in this case, the reality check that WeiWei needed came from Chu Ke Huan. Then later on in the drama, her best friend Han Ke Fei also played the same role. Once she realized what was wrong, the need for change became a frustrating battle for her. I love that she tried all she could to save her relationship with her fiancé, but unfortunately, Li Hao Yi was not ready to accept his faults and make the necessary changes. So I support her for breaking off such a toxic relationship. Here is a clip to show how far wrecked the relationship was, and whenever she tried to resolve things, it all landed on deaf ears – 

Personally, I wanted WeiWei to be on her own for a while, and I am glad that she actually did so. Going straight into a relationship would be taking past baggage and negative auras into a new phase of life. She needed time to heal and rediscover herself.

#2. Jasper Liu – Chu Ke Huan Screenshot (57)The major mistake he made was staying in a relationship for ten years when he clearly knew that he no longer loved his girlfriend. I know he stayed to fulfill his promise to her late mother, but by doing so, he enabled Gao Zi Yuan’s obsession over him. He then started using WeiWei as an escape from his reality. So even though he played a significant role in getting WeiWei to see the wrongs in her relationship, he had a hard time dealing with his own issues. Thankfully Zi Yuan’s younger sister helped him realize that to ultimately be free, he needed to cut Zi Yuan off completely. Forget the promise and just leave her alone.

And although his forceful actions at the beginning of the series were unpleasant, he managed to show many redeeming qualities as the story progressed. He became a good friend to WeiWei whenever she needed someone that could understand and comfort her. He also learnt to be patient with her and give her space. He was willing to wait for her to achieve her goal of becoming WeiWei 2.0 before starting a new relationship. I really love Chu Ke Huan’s character because after the final confirmation that he was emotionally invested in another woman, he broke things off with Gao Zi Yuan immediately. Now concerning his relationship with WeiWei. It started out as lust, but it developed into a good friendship, which involved mutual love and respect for each other.

Pardon me because my next statement is a bit off-topic.

JASPER LIU IS HOT🥰. Okay, NEXT!!!🗣…

#3. Steven Sun – Li Hao Yiimg_0825Yes, he over plans and puts way too much emphasis on saving up money, but that does not necessarily make him a horrible person. Li Hao Yi’s main flaw was his pride and inability to listen or make changes. A relationship involves two people, so how can one person make all the decisions without consulting the other party. That is disrespectful.

Such a flaw can be worked on, but when nothing is done, it becomes toxic and unbearable. After the breakup, Li Hao Yi’s character took an extreme 360 turn, and he lost all his redeeming qualities. He became more stubborn, violent, rude and still did not want to listen before jumping to conclusions. And even though he calmed down at the end, I feel that he still did not learn anything. I say this because of the statement he made to Wei Wei before leaving Taipei. I quote – “You always make me watch you leave, now you should be the one to watch me leave.” To me, that statement proves that he took no lesson away from the breakup but instead felt that it all happened because Wei Wei fell in love with someone else. Maizi really summed up what I wanted to tell Li Hao Yi. She said – “Comparing yourself to others or blaming others for all your problems is never the right way to go about things. First, look within yourself and find out if you also hold some blame.” Hao Yi, unlike Gao Zi Yuan, had a chance to make things right, but he let his pride shoot him in the foot before finishing the race. 

#4. Nital Lei – Gao Zi YuanScreenshot (75)She was such a one-dimensional character; even till the end of the series, she remained the same without any glimpse of hope. Her character’s issues should have been resolved faster. But I really love the actress because she did an excellent job showing all of Gao Zi Yuan’s flaws.

Zi Yuan is manipulative, selfish, inconsiderate and obsessed. She continuously used the excuse of doing things for Ke Huan’s good to get away with her excessive lifestyle. Also, trying to guilt-trip him with the promise he made to her late mother was terrible. She was fully aware of how bad their relationship had become, but she decided to remain in denial. Watching her actions was like trying to pour water into a broken jar. Even when her younger sister advises her, she shuns her sister’s words and continues on her path of destruction. How does one come back from all these? There was no character development for her at all. That is why I wish they provided the reason for her aborting the baby. Maybe that would have made this character have more depth. 

#5. Pheobe Yuan – Han Ke Feiimg_0821I started out this drama not being the biggest fan of Han Ke Fei, but by the end of the series, I appreciated her presence. She sincerely wanted the best for WeiWei and was always ready to defend her no matter what. She also calls WeiWei out on her actions by asking her the right questions. Some examples include – Are you satisfied? Do you really want to get married? Are you sure you have no feelings for Chu Ke Huan? Questions like these are essential before jumping into marriage.

I know most people did not like how thirsty how her character was, but if you ask me, her behaviour was quite realistic and straightforward. She did need some toning down, but who am I to judge. I also saw comments of people slut-shaming her, which was unfair because where was that same energy when Chu Ke Huan was going after an engaged lady. Double standards😒. I am glad she found the right partner and settled down. Here is my favourite scene from her –


Overall I really enjoyed this drama. Most of all, for its complexity. The final result was not just to arrive at someone being right or wrong but rather to realize that everyone was in some way at fault for the demise of their own relationship. And by acknowledging your mistakes, you can move forward. Like I already mentioned, the acting was great and believable.

The background scores for this drama were always perfectly placed. Here is a good example –

I also loved the original soundtracks that were used. My favourite OST is the ending theme song by Bii.  If you do not know about my intense admiration for Bii yet, then you must be a new reader. The song “I Miss You More” is from Bii’s latest album, which was also released this year. It is such a soft and calming piece, so it naturally became one of my favourite things about the show.

Another worthy mention is “I’d Like To Hear The Details” by Fang Wu. I do not know much about the singer, but the chorus on this song really caught my attention. It is also very relaxing.

To end this review, let us discuss the ending. A lot of people had mixed feelings towards the finale. The writers trolled all of us big time. From the previews, I thought it was going to be Ke Huan and WeiWei’s wedding, but it was not. Personally, I think the ending was perfect and realistic. Getting married at the end would have been too predictable.

After the one year skip, we know that they both resolved the issues with their previous partners. They are now free from anyone’s control and can date whoever they please. Also, WeiWei asking Ke Huan if she could buy him a coffee tells all the attentive viewers that they plan to start dating officially. In episode one, Chu Ke Huan asked her the same thing, and he said when someone says that, it is code for wanting to start a relationship. With all this knowledge, I am assured of them ending up together. Therefore, I have no problem with the ending. 

Before We Get Married was everything I expected and more. Yes, there were a few unresolved issues, and the story became a bit slow towards the end, but none of these strongly affected my viewing experience. Plus, I would not mind rewatching it, so my rating for this drama is an 8/10.

All thirteen episodes are available on Viki: Full Episodes of Before We Get Married.

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

 

 

 

HER PRIVATE LIFE: Drama Review

Her Private Life is a 2019 Korean drama series that aired on TVN. The story is based on a Korean novel called Noona Fan Dot Com. img_2922Synopsis: Sung Deok Mi is a talented chief curator at Cheum Museum Art Gallery, but in private, she is a fanatic fangirl of White Ocean’s Cha Si An. Ryan Gold is an artist who can no longer paint due to Stendhal syndrome. After the current boss of Cheum Museum gets involved in an embezzlement case, Ryan becomes the new Art Director of the museum. Due to a sasaeng fan’s post, rumours about Deok Mi allegedly dating Si An begin to spread. To ward off Si An’s fans who threaten to harm her, Ryan suggests that he and Deok Mi pretend to date. Unfortunately, the same sasaeng gets a job as an intern in the museum and vows to prove that Ryan and Deok Mi are a fake couple. Both now have no other choice but to continue the couple act even at work.

Going into this drama, I was not expecting much because this “fake to real couple” plotline has been overused. The only difference here was the fangirling aspect. So I went in with the mindset of “I just need some lighthearted romance story to refresh myself.” The drama also had a promising cast, so that was a plus. And like many others, I was super excited to finally see Kim Jae Wook in a lead role.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

I absolutely enjoyed watching this series. It was exactly what I needed, not much suspense, just some feel-good romance. Although I feel that some parts of the story could have been omitted and also a few questions are still left answered. So I am going to make a little paragraph on that.

Okay, time to officially get into this review.

As I already mentioned, Her Private Life is nothing new plot-wise, but it felt fresh and exciting to watch because of how well the drama was executed. I fell in love with almost every character as the story progressed. The entire film crew and actors really brought their A-game on this one. I really enjoyed watching the comedic scenes, the extraness of it all gave me a good laugh. I also love how animated the depiction of the fansite world was made to look. It was a little bit “cheesy,” but I think that is what made it funny to me.

Now I am not sure if I should be giving praise to the director or the writer for what I am about to mention, but anyways Kudos to whoever came up with the idea. There are some particular scenes between our main leads where no music or background score is used, the entire scene is just completely silent. I LOVED IT. The use of silence to show the tension between Ryan and Deok Mi was the best idea they could have come up with because it just makes it feel more real. Some people might not like the awkward feeling it gave, but I enjoyed it. Here are the scenes where I noticed that use of silence – 

Another thing to comment on is the fantastic dialogue, most notably during heartfelt scenes. In the last episode, there is a scene where Deok Mi’s mom and Ryan’s mom sit for a while and talk with each other. The dialogue from Ryan’s mom was absolutely beautiful. She said, “A woman who has lost her husband is called a widow. A man whose wife has died is a widower. A child who had lost his or her parents is called an orphan. But a parent who has lost a child…the sorrow is so great that there is not even a word that can be used to describe the person”. I am not sure if these words are directly from the writer or from another source, but they really touched me. If anyone knows the original source, please let me know in the comment section. For a more detailed review, I will go ahead and analyze a few characters.

First, our main leads – Kim Jae Wook as Ryan/Han Yoon Jae and Park Mi Young as Sung Deok Miimg_3194This drama portrays a very mature romance story, so the chemistry between Ryan and Deok Mi was intense and beautiful from start to finish. Their relationship felt more real and natural as the drama progressed. I also discovered that most of the intimate scenes towards the end of the series were actually improvised by the actors themselves, so I guess that’s why it felt very natural. I loved how understanding and considerate they both were to each other. There was hardly any misunderstanding between them, and anytime they had an issue, it was resolved very quickly. I honestly hate when little problems are dragged and dramatized for many episodes, so it was nice seeing that change here.

I also like that the secret about her being a fangirl was not hidden for too long after they officially started dating. The writer did a great job in making Ryan smart enough to figure out that Deok Mi was the fansite manager for Si An is My Road. And because Ryan already knew, the reveal was not a big issue for them. Although I still wish Deok Mi revealed it to him personally instead of hiding all the time. That aside, Deok Mi is still a very lovable character, she is an amazing daughter, a very supportive friend. I love that she could always tell if Ryan was not in the best mood and what exactly was bothering him without him actually saying anything. Also, Ryan had one of the most admirable traits ever. He was always quick to apologize whenever he realized that he was wrong.

I appreciate the wardrobe choices for the lead characters. My favourite outfit for Ryan is definitely the three-piece suit he wore in episode 13. Also, Deok Mi outfits were great. Her clothes, shoes and jewellery were always well put together. But I wish they had blended her hair extensions properly like they did in the last episode. All the same, I would love to have her wardrobe for a week at least.

To close the chapter for our main leads, please permit me to fangirl a little. KIM JAE WOOK, no words needed –img_3195img_3196Alright, alright, I am done. LOL, I had to respect myself and not add all the screenshots I took.

Next on, the second leads – Hong Seo Young as Choi Da In and Ahn Bo Hyun as Nam Eun Gi img_3191img_3200Honestly, I feel that these two characters should have been introduced just as friends or family to Ryan and Deok Mi because it would not have made much of a difference for their roles in the drama.

I initially found Nam Eun Gi annoying, and I knew that because of the brotherly relationship he had with Deok Mi, they definitely could not end up together. So the fact that he tried to control what she was doing with Ryan on the claim that he knew her better than Ryan was annoying to watch. Growing up with her or knowing a lot about her does not automatically give you the right to a relationship. Love is really not a first-come, first-serve matter. Towards the end of the drama, I noticed some significant character development with him. He really surprised me and made me love him as a character. He is a fantastic friend and brother to Deok Mi, and I was happy when he found someone that loves him as well.

Now onto Choi Da In, I honestly do not have much to say about this character. It felt like the writer just used her as a catalyst to make Ryan realize his true feelings for Deok Mi. But after that, I did not see the point of her character any longer. At first, I thought it was going to be the usual troupe were both second leads fall in love with each other, but it did not turn out that way. I feel that she did not have to be presented as a second lead because she could have made Ryan realize his feeling just by being a friend and saying something. If anyone has a different opinion on her character, feel free to do so in the comment section.

To close the section for the second leads, I will put it out there that I am a bit biased against second leads because I am tired of Korean dramas and their dead-end love triangles. The only show that ever made me love the second lead more was School 2015.

Deok Mi’s One and only idol – Jung Je Won as Cha Si Animg_3202At first, Cha Si An did not stand out to me. It felt like he was just there as the idol that Deok Mi loved, but by episode 14, I had a big realization of the importance of his character. His talk with his mom after the discovery that Ryan was Heo Yoon Jae (her lost son) showed how much of a loving and caring person he is. I realized that right from the beginning, he has been the bridge connecting our main leads, and he also served as the bridge for Ryan to meet their mom. I remember in the very first scene between Ryan and Deok Mi, she kept on staring at him because he reminded her of Si-An, and they start the fake dating because of Si An’s scandal. Many other instances of such connection come to mind, but I cannot list all. His character definitely brought tranquillity, knowledge and understanding for other characters around him. He always seemed to know about things that you would hardly expect him to know of. I guess it took me a while to notice Si An, but I am glad that I did. I find it funny that somehow he was always on the elevator with Ryan or Deok Mi.  At some point, I wondered if he was living on that elevator. Also, I knew right from the start that Si-An and Ryan were brothers, so the reveal was not a big surprise to me. Here is one of my favourite scenes of him on the elevator – 

Kim Bo Ra as Cindy/Kim Hyo Jin and Kim Sun Young as Uhm So Hyeimg_3203Before I even start to go in on these two characters, I would like to share one of my favourite scenes which happens to have both characters in it. Here it is – 

Kim Sun Young is such an amazing actress. I first saw her as one of the mothers in Reply 1988. She really did a great job as Uhm So Hye. In scenes where I was supposed to hate or be irritated by the character, I definitely was and also in the scenes where I was supposed to laugh, I did. The entire look for her role was funny, from the hairstyle to her outrageous outfits and her personality, I just could not take her seriously. Thankfully she became less hateful during the few last episodes.

Cindy really started off as the annoying sasaeng fan, but I am grateful for the addition of her character. Her character portrayed how disturbing actual sasaeng fans can be. I mean, there is a difference between being a fan and fangirling over your preferred kpop groups, but when it gets to the point of invading their privacy and stalking them during their personal time, then that is just wrong and uncalled for. Honestly, the stories I have read about a few kpop idols and their sasaeng fans are alarming. That aside, Cindy grew on me. I like how her obsessive passion was channelled into something more productive in the long run. I was actually surprised that she ended up with Nam Eun Gi. She developed into a great character, and one of my favourite scenes from her is when she confronts her mom about the celebrity collection exhibit that the Art Gallery was planning for. Here is that scene – 

Finally, here is my little paragraph on what I felt could have been excluded and the questions I still need answers to. First of all, did they really have to make the leads know each other as kids? I mean do not get me wrong, I absolutely love how maturely that part of the story was handled, but this is just an overused cliche. I am not a writer, so I try not to be over judgemental with a storyline. If I do not enjoy it, I just drop it and start something else, but this time around, I just have to point it out. It is getting old and tiring because a lot of Korean dramas are using the same plot, I need to see something new. PLEASE.

Another thing, the drama is called Her Private Life, but it did not really focus on her private life. Now that does not bother me much, but I was hoping that they would reveal to her co-workers and even Si An that she is the manager for Si An is My Road fansite. I cannot believe that it was not made into a big reveal. Also, what happened to the people that adopted Ryan. Are they alive, dead or even still in contact with him? I would love to know.

Okay, l am going to leave that and end this review on something else that I enjoyed, which is OSTs. When watching any drama, the one thing that always draws my attention is the soundtracks. There are two specific songs that I really love from Her Private Life. The first is “Maybe” by Lee Hae Ri of Davichi. Davichi always has the best drama OSTs, their voices are so beautiful. The second song is “Think of You” by Ha Sung Woon. I do not know much about Ha Sung Woon, but he is also a great singer. Here is the link to the music videos for both songs –  Official MV for Lee Hae Ri – Maybe     Official MV for Ha Sung Woon – Think Of You.

Overall I will rate this drama an 8.5/10. It was a good watch, and I would not mind rewatching it again. So before I go, I will leave you all with two more clips of my favourite scenes with Ryan and Deok Mi. ENJOY, and until my next post, take everyone.

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

First Encounter: Do You Want Me? 

Fake Dating Photoshoot 

 

 

 

 

 

KINGDOM: Drama Review

Finally, I have woken up from my long slumber. I am back with my review for the 2019 zombie-themed Korean series, Kingdom. I know that this is a late review, but I really wanted to take my time to do this properly.

kingdom-netflix[1]Kingdom is a 2019 Netflix Original Series set in the Joseon period.

Synopsis: The king has fallen ill, and rumours start to spread that he has actually died. Crown Prince Lee Chang is labelled a traitor by the Haewon Cho clan, which is the clan of the current Queen. Due to the political plot against him, he embarks upon a mission to investigate the spread of the mysterious undead plague that has beset the king and the country’s southern provinces.

Honestly, the main reason why I kept stalling on this drama was because of the zombie theme. I am not the biggest fan of the undead. So, going into this series, I expected some horrid scenes. I knew that I would be getting a well-written plot and delivery from start to finish. I hoped that since the series had only six episodes had to have been well planned out because of the short time provided to develop the story.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

My review on this is going to be very short and precise. Because the drama only has six episodes and ended with a cliffhanger. So there is not much to conclude on for now. I need the second season to be released as soon as possible because they cannot just leave me hanging with such an epic plot twist.

With that said, I have one word for this drama, INTENSE. This was such an action-packed series. A big thumbs up to all the actors for the fantastic range they showed throughout this drama. Their acting was very believable, most notably from the zombies. From the way they ran to their reactions, every move was made to look as real as possible. Their acting really sold this story for me because I usually do not enjoy zombie movies, but I was glued to my screen throughout the six episodes.

I noticed immediately from the start that there was a shift from the usual Korean drama series style of storytelling. Typically with Korean dramas, the audience is provided with some sort of back story to better understand the characters, but this drama did not have much of that. So my initial reaction halfway through the series was that the characters lacked depth. This caused me to be unclear on why precisely the Crown prince decided to rebel against his father for the throne. I know that he had enemies and therefore needed to do anything within his power to survive, but I still want to know more about the relationship between him and the king. Even with that lack of depth, I have nothing against the writer for not providing a backstory for the characters. This is because, as I watched to the end of the series, I realized that the main focus was on the zombie epidemic itself and not necessarily the characters. So on that note, I concluded that this drama was not too concerned with character development and in-depth storylines. It had a definite plot, which was Zombie apocalypse, and it was well executed.

As already mentioned, I expected a good number of horrid scenes, and from the very first episode, I got it. Not even ten minutes into episode one and someone’s head was already on the floor. Now since we are discussing horrid scenes, let us look into how the epidemic began to spread in the first place. I get that the people were starving, and the need to stay alive can make anyone take drastic measures, but did Young Shin really have to cook a dead person as meat for sick people to eat. I was so grossed out by that. Did he not think about how unhealthy that will be. He started the entire zombie apocalypse. If he did not serve them that meat, they would not have been infected. I still want to know what his story is because, as of now, I am not his biggest fan. He might have helped keep people alive, but I just cannot seem to overlook the fact that he escalated the situation due to his rash decision.

That aside, I enjoyed the comedic scenes that we got to see in the first half of the series. Especially the bickering between Crown prince Lee Chang and his royal guard. But by the end of the series, I began to suspect his guard. I hope to be proven wrong in season two because if he is really a spy, it will be a big blow to the prince. In episode six, it was revealed that the Haewon Cho clan had planted a mole on the crown prince’s side, and the only person who had been with Lee Chang from the beginning was the guard. So who could this mole be?

Now a little talk about the Queen, I had a strong feeling from the start that she was not pregnant, and I was right. I also feel like she cares about the crown prince. As of now, her character seems quite mysterious and complicated to me. So I really want to see more of her story in season two in hopes of understanding her better. My radar might be wrong about her feelings towards Lee Chang, but one thing I know for sure is that she does not enjoy being controlled by her father. I feel like she might even betray him to keep her position and power intact.

Finally, I would like to discuss the cinematography for this series. It was simple, detailed and fitting to the Joseon period. The landscape shots throughout the series were breathtaking. I also noticed in episode one that the lighting indoors at night was executed perfectly. It was actually portrayed like they had only lamps and candles on set. My reason for mentioning this is because most historical kdramas tend to fail in the lighting department. They make it so evident that they are using electricity to film, but this drama was an exception, so props to the director for that. Also, the background scores really helped in creating the right effect for each scene. I believe that each instrumental piece helped the audience stay more intuned with the intensity of the show.

To wrap up my review, my rating for this series is 8.5/10. I am willing to give the remaining 1.5 points once I see the definite ending for this drama and some character depth. Overall, Kingdom was perfect. I did not find much fault with it because it was so well produced. I really hope that the second season provides answers to the few questions that remain unanswered for me. Also, I am praying that season two lives up to the hype of its predecessor. If you have not seen this TV series yet, you need to go check it out. If you have seen it, please let me know in the comment section if we share any similar opinions and what you noticed that I might have missed. That is it for this review.

I know I did not do my usual character analysis and notable scenes for this review. Here is my reason – I currently do not have enough information on each character to do that. Hopefully, by the end of the second season, I should be able to do my character analysis. As for the notable scenes, I simply could not decide. It was such a short drama, and almost every scene was essential and captivating.

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

So until my next post, take everyone.

 

ACROSS THE OCEAN TO SEE YOU: Drama Review

img_2599Across The Ocean To See You is a 2017 Chinese TV show that tells the story of Su Mang, an executive for MG, a global tourism company. After failed attempts to have a child and dealing with an unfaithful husband, her marriage ends in divorce. To get a fresh start, Su Mang transfers to the company’s headquarters in Shanghai as a director. Unfortunately, rumours start to fly among the employees about Su Mang’s life overseas, and Zheng Chu is the unlikely employee who steps forward to protect her, despite the rocky start to their working relationship. This leaves a good impression on Su Mang and the two become friends, but how will the rest of their story play out?

Main Characters: 

#1. Zhu Ya Wen as Zheng Chuimg_2596#2. Claudia Wang as Su Mangimg_2589#3. Julia Ye as Tang Guo Guoimg_2586#4. Wang Yan Lin as Su Changimg_2588#5. Denny Huang as Tang Ming img_2575#6. Gao Yang as Yan Xiao Qiuimg_2583#7. Ma Qiu Zi as Chen Shan Shanimg_2592#8. Xie Gavin as Tony img_2587Okay now that I have the necessary information listed out, it is time for the main course. Going into this drama, I expected romance, drama, comedy and some form of character development because I had a strong feeling that I was going to be dealing with a few immature characters.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: Well, I got some of what I asked for, romance, very little character development and LOTS OF DRAMA. Honestly, this drama frustrated me to the point that I had to drop it for a long time, cool off and then somehow find the courage to complete it. Now, this does not mean that it was terrible all through. It started out great, but it got draggy and repetitive towards the end. What I have to give to this drama is that the comedic scenes were always on point. I was really excited to start this show because the synopsis seemed promising, but the execution was not the best. To explain my loves and hates for this drama, I have decided to break down my review according to character groups. Firstly let us discuss our main leads.

– Su Mang and Zheng Chu: The drama opens with Su Mang visiting the hospital for her IVF (In vitro fertilization) treatments. She later realizes after her divorce that she is pregnant. Now right from the start, I knew that her sperm donor was going to be our male lead, and I WAS RIGHT. He is the baby’s father, but this is not revealed until the very last episodes of the show. I found this to be the usual fate troupe, so I had no issue at all. I only wished that her pregnancy was depicted more realistically. All pregnant women develop baby bumps at some point, but here we are at about 3 – 4 months with an extremely flat stomach. Is that even possible? That aside, the leads had chemistry, their bickering was fun to watch at the beginning. The woman being the boss was a nice switch up from the usual male boss vs female employer and plus Su Mang had a strong personality. But what I did not enjoy was the way their relationship progressed. The push and pull game with both of them was excessively done. Zheng Chu is a very caring character, but he seemed to be a pushover and super clingy with Su Mang. Like if you keep on asking a lady out and doing everything to please her and she still does not want you, GIVE HER SOME SPACE. Also, in this situation, he could clearly tell that the other party felt the same way. She just was not ready to commit. Bugging her all the time and receiving all the nasty treatments from her was honestly frustrating to watch. Due to this small issue I had with their relationship, I was not exited even when they finally got married. To me, it was more like good riddance to excess drama. All the same, I still have a few moments I enjoyed from the leads, so here is a good one. 

– Tang Ming and Yan Xiao Qiu VS. Chen Shan Shan: Now, these three characters were the biggest problem I had with the entire show. This has to be the most annoying love triangle mess that I have ever watched in my life. Xiao Qiu and Shan Shan are sisters, but they have been separated for years due to their parent’s divorce, and their relationship is not great either. Shan Shan also happens to be Zheng Chu’s ex-girlfriend, and Tang Ming is Zheng Chu’s best friend.  MY LEVEL 1 FRUSTRATION – Tang Ming clearly knew that Shan Shan broke up with Zheng Chu because she did not want to date someone who was not rich enough to cater to all her needs. Any average person would have the common sense to keep away from such an individual and plus she is your best friend’s ex, what happened to BRO CODE? The heartbreak for your friend was still fresh, not even a week old, like for real? Tang Ming is supposed to be a doctor. But throughout the show, I kept on wondering if he was ever using his brain. How can you misunderstood someone’s good intentions but yet keep on falling for another person’s schemes? Even when his family was against it, he still stubbornly went along with Chen Shan Shan. MY LEVEL 2 FRUSTRATION – I absolutely adored Yan Xiao Qiu as a character. She is a sweet and loving friend. Although I must admit that she lacked a backbone. I get it that not everyone can be outspoken about their feelings, but there has to be a breaking point. When you are always pushed to the wall, it gets to the point that you have to speak up. No matter how many times her sister lied, threatened and insulted her, she just took it all in silence. It became too tiring to watch. MY LEVEL 3 FRUSTRATION – What was the writer, director, and producer thinking when they made the decision to kill off Xiao Qiu. She died so unexpectedly, and to me after her death, the happy ending for the other characters became meaningless. Like I already said, I did not like that she could not speak up for herself, but I respected her decision to give up on Tang Ming, go back to her hometown and stay away from all the drama her sister was creating. I feel that her character could have been given a chance to maybe travel abroad and focus more on her career because her death proved nothing to me. AND FINALLY MY BREAKING POINT – What gave Chen Shan Shan the right to blame Tang Ming for her sister’s death. EXCUSE ME but what drama have I been watching, am I still in the right show? Suddenly she is now a changed person and has reconciled with her dad. Excuse me?, this is not adding up because I do not feel that she deserves that happy ending. I know that in life, the unexpected always happens, but did Xiao Qiu really have to die. I rest my case on these three. 

– Tang Guo Guo and Su Chang:  This was one couple that I did not really care about. Both characters were super annoying at the start, but they were actually the only ones to show some form of character development. Although, at first, I was not the biggest fan of Tang Guo Guo, she actually grew to be the saving grace for me in this drama. She was funny and straight forward with everyone. I just did not care much about her romantic relationship with Su Chang. The only scene from them that really stood out to me was when Su Chang finally spoke some well deserved harsh truths to immature Guo Guo. So here is that scene. 

– Tang Guo Guo and Tony: Like I mentioned already, I really loved Guo Guo’s character as the story progressed, and I was even more invested in her relationship with her manager, Tony. They had more chemistry together compared to her and her boyfriend Su Chang, JUST MY OPINION. I admired the trust, loyalty, and friendship that both characters showcased and their incredible comedic timing. They had this little funny song and dance that they do, it was so adorable to watch. I can state for sure that they were my favourite part of this drama. Here is a clip that shows exactly why I love them. 

Although I did not really enjoy this drama, I must give credit, where credit is due. The cinematography for this drama was stunning. Each scene showcased vibrant colours.  Also, the actors did great in portraying their characters as directed, and their emotional and comedic scenes were top notch. I will be looking out for other projects from them. That concludes all I had to say about Across The Ocean To See You. I will rate this drama a 6/10. Will I be giving it a second watch anytime soon? The answer is NO. I would not mind watching the funny clips or the first half episodes of perfection, but I will definitely not be rewatching the entire show again. If you will still like to check out this drama for yourself and form your own opinion, here is the link: Full Episodes Of Across The Ocean To See You

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

So until my next post, have a lovely week

MAY I BLACKMAIL YOU?: Drama Review

May I Blackmail You? is a 2017 Japanese drama series that tells the story of a man named Kanji Senkawa and his private blackmailing business. img_2308Kanji Senkawa takes up cases that cannot be handled by the police or private investigators, and he solves them by blackmailing people. While doing his usual business, he meets the wealthy university student Mio Kanesaka. Kanji and Mio get involved in various situations, including voice phishing and kidnappings.

Going into this drama, I expected a short and sweet romance story. I also had a strong feeling I was going to enjoy it because I love the lead actor Dean Fujioka. My first time watching him was in the Taiwanese drama series Just You, and he was entertaining to watch, he brings his characters to life. I did not know much about the lead actress before watching this drama, but I had faith in the Japanese drama formula. Japanese dramas tend to have very few episodes, so everything is fast-paced. Also, character development and growth is a sure thing by the end of the show. So I was entirely sure that I would not be too disappointed.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

This was a concise and straightforward drama. It had only nine episodes with each lasting for a maximum of one hour or less. Also, the main characters had great chemistry. Although there were hints for something to bloom between them in the future, it did not happen. Maybe if they do decide to make a second season, then there might be some romance. So do not expect any romantic scenes from our leads. As I mentioned already, this series has nine episodes, so it was obviously fast-paced and straight to the point, and I enjoyed that a lot. But I still feel that essential background information for a better understanding of each character was omitted due to the number of episodes.

An excellent example of this is Mio Kanesaka and her grandfather. Right from the beginning of the show, it was made clear that Mio was not on good terms with her grandfather, but the reason for it being so was not clearly stated. They did show how their opinions differed on various occasions. I would have preferred if they gave us a flashback on the actual event that caused the hack to their relationship.

Another thing I really enjoyed from this drama was the timeline setup. The series started from the present and then flashbacked to the past to provide more depth to the characters. Now back in the present time, we are at this critical point where the characters have to make crucial decisions based on past experiences and their current learnings. I really enjoy it when this style of timeline setup is used in dramas. Because it leaves me guessing, which means the series is not entirely predictable from the start. That little mystery left by the timeline setup really made this drama more interesting to me. Plot-wise, this was a well-written drama. When I read the synopsis, it came off as the usual cute romantic-comedy, but I was wrong. It started out light-hearted and filled with dry humour, but towards the end, the characters became darker and had more depth to them. Just to clarify on the “dry humour” statement, I do not mean that the comedic relief moments were not funny enough. But rather such moments were quite mellow and sarcastic in nature, so not many people might pick up on the jokes.

Also, this drama gave me the number one thing I always desire, which is character development. Every character showed some essence of growth by the end of the show. So let’s discuss a few of the characters that really stood out to me.

#1. Dean Fujioka as Kanji Senkawaimg_2305The one and only blackmailer, Kanji Senkawa. Kanji at first seemed like a very nonchalant person without much to worry about except getting his assigned contracts completed. He is cunning and very money-driven, but there is more to Kanji. He actually harbours great regret regarding the death of his girlfriend. We later come to know that Mio Kanesaka is very much alike in behaviour to his ex-girlfriend, and that is why Kanji always disagrees with her. He feels that she is too naive and that her belief in the good nature of people is very unrealistic. At some point in the drama, I could tell that Kanji was hiding his anger and regrets behind the nonchalant attitude. There was definitely something hunting him because he would sometimes go very dark with his words and actions. What I really liked is that at the very end, he understood that revenge is not always the best option. But people who do wrong deeds still deserve to be punished.

#2. Emi Takei as Mio Kanesakaimg_2292She starts off being way too naive and unrealistic with her belief in the good nature of people and their want to redeem themselves. At first, I was really thrown off by her behaviour. Gradually I came to admire her because she did something that many people fail to do when they hit a breaking point. And that is having the ability to stand by an initial decision. After a few fails, Mio Kanesaka realized that images portrayed by others in public cannot always be trusted. But she still held on the idea that everyone should be given a chance to redeem themselves. So in a way, she remained the same. But by the end of the drama, she definitely was not the same naive Mio Kanesaka from episode one. She admitted to her flaws but stood by her belief. To me, that makes her a really confident character, and I LOVE HER FOR THAT.

#3. Kasahara Hideyuki as Takanomi Nami img_2310Takanomi Nami, a politician and uncle figure to Mio Kanesaka due to her grandfather being his mentor. Takanomi played a significant role in making Mio realize how fake someone’s public image could be. In the public eye, he was a righteous politician and a hero. To Mio, he was also like a family member, but she was greatly disappointed when she discovered the monster behind the perfect face. He had her kidnapped and almost killed her grandfather just to make sure he won the upcoming election.

#4. Ozawa Hitoshi as Fuwa Tetsuoimg_2314Fuwa Tetsuo, is the major gang leader in the neighbourhood. He is corrupt and capable of many wrongs, but his character stood out to me for two primary reasons. Number one is that his role was a big contrast to that of Takanomi, the politician. Here is a gang leader who the public clearly fears, but he was willing to help Kanji and his team on many occasions. Secondly, his character was also a good show of odd friendships. The friendship between him and Kanji was fascinating to watch. They were initially against each other due to a case Kanji had taken, but the truth is that friends can come from very unexpected places. Also, an extra bonus to his character is that he was an excellent comic add to the drama.

#5. Maya Kyoto as Tominaga Ayako img_2296Tominaga Ayako, is the founder and leader of a very influential charity organization in the town. She uses the members of her organization to commit various crimes, including murder. For her defence, she claimed that she was helping the less fortunate to get rid of the people that once tormented them. So anyone who stands in her way will also be killed. She was the one who adopted Kanji’s girlfriend and nurtured her till she was old enough to be on her own. Unfortunately, Kanji’s girlfriend found out about her wrongdoings, so she had to be killed. This was an unfortunate character to watch because she honestly started her organization for a useful purpose. But over time, she had lost her way and failed to admit her wrongdoings. It just means that no matter who you are, it is possible for you to lose the essence of yourself at a certain point. Once you realize the problem, try to deal with it immediately. THE EARLIER, THE BETTER.

There were many other characters in the show, but these were the few that really stood out to me. As always, I have a few of my favourites scenes to share with you all.

Kanji and Tominaga Final Confrontation 

This was the final confrontation between Kanji and Tominaga. Tominaga killed Kanji’s girlfriend, and he plans to kill her as well. I really love this scene because of how well I could feel their anger, regret, and self-realization. The emotions were vivid.

Mio’s Initial Reaction To Being Blackmailed

Now, this scene is the perfect example of the dry humour I mentioned at the very beginning. It was a moment of shock and disbelief that somehow amused me. Mio’s initial reaction to being blackmailed was way too calm and unusual. Although this clip does not show it, she actually calls the blackmailer to negotiate the ransom for someone who has no connection to her. She also sends him a selfie just because he asked for a picture. I mean, who sends their picture to a blackmailer?

Kanji and Fuwa’s Game For Information

Here we have the iconic duo. A gang leader and a blackmailer betting important information on a game of building bricks. Not exactly what you will expect from such people. It was a hilarious scene to watch.

Mio Faces Her Parent’s Killer

Mio has the opportunity to kill the person who caused the death of her parents, but she does not believe in revenge. She admits that she hates him and likes the idea of getting rid of him for sure, but that will never bring her parents back to life. I already mentioned that I love how she stands by what she believes in, and this scene really sums up Mio Kanesaka’s character.

Alright, that is all I have to say about this drama. Overall, May I Blackmail You? is an excellent drama and my rating for this is a 9/10, VERY SOLID. I recommend that you all take some time to check it out. It has only nine episodes, so that makes it a fast watch and I guarantee a delightful series from start to finish. It is available on Viki, here is the link: Full Episodes Of May I Blackmail You?

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

So until my next post, have a lovely week

 

THE LIGHT IN YOUR EYES: Premiere Review

Expectations: I expect to see very relatable life experiences from this drama because the story plays around two characters who are at that critical career point, and I know that life hits like a storm for many people during that time. So I expect some tear-jerking moments. Rather than romance, I am looking forward to the personal growth of all characters, and once I see the potential for that, I will be sold. I am also hoping for great acting from the leads. I know that Han Ji-Min has been in the acting game for a while now, but not all her projects impressed me. The few that I loved absolutely showcased great acting prowess from her, so I am hoping for the best.

On the other hand, Nam Joo-Hyuk is relatively new in the game, but he has the potential to perfect his skills with time. So since this drama seems to have a good storyline and the lineup for the cast are majorly veteran actors/actresses, I believe he will showcase excellent acting. With that said, here is my review for the opening episodes of The Light In Your Eyes.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: The first thing that I noticed is that the characters in this show are “raw.” That is the only word that came to my mind to describe how the characters came off to me. By “raw,” I mean that there is so much growth needed for each character to get to their best self. I sincerely hope that the room created by this said “rawness” has been fully utilized by the writer to create some well deserved and grounded development for each character as the story progresses. Now the characters being raw does not take away from their complexity. For example, there is a scene where Hye-Ja tells Joon-Ha that she is fully aware of the fact that she is not fit to be an announcer, but she is also too scared to let go of her dream. She also talks about feeling inferior to the other applicants once she enters the interview room, so that is why she no longer sees the need to apply for any announcing positions. Life puts a lot of expectations on us. These expectations may be from our family, society and even our own dreams. Now, if by chance we get to that point where we cannot achieve what we hoped for, we find it so hard to let go. Letting go at this point does not even have to do with disappointing others. But instead, it has to do with stepping down from the pedestal that you once placed yourself on. It feels like you have been stripped of your pride, and you are always at a fight with yourself. Change is hard. So that scene really renounced with me because it showed how fragile and complex we are as human beings.

Along with that, I also loved the simplicity of the drama. I think it had to do with the way it was filmed because every scene flowed so naturally. It felt real, no super flashy cars, dresses or houses just a simple neighbourhood with relatable individuals. Now, this is not to take away from the effort that is put into the more flashy productions. But I mentioned it to point out how this drama felt like a walk on a chilly night away from the norm of Korean dramas. I also loved that we got a really close insight into the family dynamics of both leads. I enjoy whenever families are actively showcased in shows because it gives me a good background of why each character is the way they are. This is one of the reasons why I absolutely adore the TVN Reply series, most notably the recent one. Also, the chemistry between the leads was easy going. I like the approach of letting them become friends first before crossing into the relationship phase. And from what I have seen so far, they both represent strong support and realization grounds for each other. This is great as it is the necessary foundation for every relationship, but I am not really sure of how it is going to play out from episode three since Hye-Ja is now much older in appearance compared to Joon-Ha. I am excited about how the writer plans to deal with this change. Will she let him know who she is or will they just come to be friends along the line and then he finds out some way or another, who knows? No matter how it plays out, I just wish for it to be done in a well-explained manner. I am not going to be accepting any extreme form of drama logic this time around. I know it falls into the fantasy genre, but it still needs to make sense.

Now about things making sense, I still cannot seem to understand how the watch works.  Because in episode one, when the watch is introduced, we are just shown how Hye-Ja was able to change a few minor things over the years and how it led to her ageing faster than she was supposed to. At least I know a factual consequence of using the watch at this point, but I am still not clear on how far back in time it allows her to travel. In episode two, this is seen as a problem for a few viewers because they expect her to just go back to the night before her father’s accident to save him, but can she really go back that far in time? I am not sure, so I am waiting to get more explanations regarding the watch in the upcoming episodes. I need to know the origin, how exactly it works, why was she the one who got it, and why does it age the user faster than usual? There will be severe loopholes if these questions are not answered.

Another major thing I have noticed with a lot of Korean dramas is the constant drinking. I understand that the drinking culture is very different based on each society, but I fear for their livers. I also wonder if this is what they want to continually promote. Drinking is not harmful, but I personally believe that it should be kept at a minimum and not every day. Honestly, being drunk is not the best feeling, and I am saying so from experience, so when I see them drink almost every day, I sincerely question how they feel waking up in the morning. JUST SAYING.

Okay, back to the drama. So far I am enjoying the presence of a good number of the characters shown at this point and here is my take on them:

Notable Characters Introduced So Far:

#1. Han Ji-Min as Kim Hye-Ja img_2017She is someone who really cares about her family. I love the self-awareness of this character, she knows her strengths and weaknesses. I feel she has yet to gain the self-confidence to excel. I can also tell that she is a determined person from the scene where she tries to save her father. The only flaw is that she falls in love too fast, but I can validate her emotional actions for her. I mean, we have quite a handsome male lead, he is also cute, caring and he listens. Now, who would not fall for such an adorable person? So I will cut her some slack in that aspect.

#2. Nam Joo-Hyuk as Lee Joon- Haimg_2029At first, he came off to be quite insensitive. Most notably, during the scene where he questions Kim Hye-Ja for wanting to become an announcer. I know that it was a needed reality check for her, but it could have been said less arrogantly. Anyways, later on, that misunderstanding is cleared up, and we get to see his more caring and considerate side. I love that he is straightforward and also opens up to the female lead, so it a two-way conversation and not just one person pouring out their heart.

#3. Son Ho-Jun as Kim Young-Soo (Hye-Ja’s older brother)img_2018So far, I see him as the comedic relief for the drama, and I love that, but I have a feeling that his character has been set up for so much more than that. At some point, he might need to get his act together and find a job or start up something of his own. I would not mind if he even starts helping around the house instead of merely sitting at home all day and asking for meat. But for now, he is a great comedic character.

#4. Ahn Nae-Sang as Hye-Ja’s father img_2028He is a taxi driver and a loving father. Right now, I see him as the good cop towards his children, unlike his wife. He is their protector, constant supporter and the one who always catches them in case they backslide a little, but I can tell that he has a softer spot for Hye-Ja. I guess that is why he had to be the catalyst for Hye-Ja to use the watch again, although this caused her to age so suddenly, I am still happy that she was able to save him.

#5. Lee Jung-Eun as Hye-Ja’s mother img_2025She is a certified hairstylist and the “bad cop” parent in the family. I still love her. There has to be someone in your life to provide a well-needed reality check, and she executes it on a timely basis. She is also the harsh encourager, she pushes you to see the best in yourself and not settle for less. I know that her expectations for Hye-Ja are very burdensome, but I like that she does not want her to end up as a hairstylist. At the same time, I see nothing wrong with being a hairstylist because, in this generation, everything can be capitalized on if done correctly.

#6. Kim Ga-Eun as Lee Hyun-Joo (Hye-Ja’s friend)img_2036First things firsts, I have a feeling that she might still end up dating Hye-Ja’s brother again. I do not have much to say about this character for now. I am waiting to see more of her before I decide on how relevant she is to the story.

#7. Song Sang-Eun as Yoon Sang-Eun (Hye-Ja’s friend)img_2037Now she is another comic relief to me but a very laid back type. The scene where the girls were discussing her contract with the management company is just funny, and I hope that as the story progresses, she also gets smarter with her decisions. And just like the other friend, I have nothing much to say about her for now.

#8. Kim Young-Ok as Lee Joon-Ha’s grandmother.img_2032 Grandma is one of my favourite older actresses, she really shines in every other drama I have seen her in. She is the captain of our leads’ ship, but unfortunately, she dies by the end of episode two. I was saddened by her death because it meant that Lee Joon-Ha was now alone because his father is not reliable. I was also really disappointed in her decision to side with her alcoholic and abusive son over her grandson with an actual future, but I guess that is the unconditional love of a mother.

Most Memorable Scenes: 

#1. Brother Rides The Ambulance.img_2020img_2022img_2024Now, this was pure comedy. The brother is simply a character, and I am here for it. At first, when he began taping the door, the first thought that came to my mind was if he was going to be able to breathe with no air coming in and out of that room. But I guess he was too hungry to think it through. And the fact that even when he was being carried away in the ambulance, he still reminded the paramedic to help him flip the meat was pure gold. Like excuse me, sir, but you nearly died, is your meat really that important at this point? He also did not seem to learn from that experience because the next day, during breakfast, he still had the guts to speak about grilled beef. He got a good beating from his mom. He is definitely the comic relief, but I also need to see him adulting up at some point.

#2. Friends in Unisonimg_2040img_2054img_2055This was a funny and cute scene for me. It has been stuck in my head for a while now. The fact that they simply just analyzed the flirty announcer’s character in a few seconds was utterly hilarious and doing so in unison made it even better. I love Kim Hye-Ja’s friends, and I hope to see more of them. I know that she had her mom tell them that she left for Germany after her sudden change in appearance, but I really want her to let her friends know and see how they deal with it. I honestly feel that they will help her relax a little bit more throughout this ordeal.

#3. Lee Joon-Ha’s Drastic Move Against His Dadimg_2049img_2051img_2050Okay,  I was really shocked when Joon-Ha came back into the room, all bruised and bloody. The first thought I had was on how long he must have held in that resentment towards his dad for him to make the decision of injuring himself to that point. That was a really drastic move, but I could understand the drive behind his decision to do that. Honestly, no one wants an alcoholic and an abuser for a father and the fact that his grandmother encourages such behaviour really disappointed me. Joon-Ha made that move to get his dad away from the peaceful space that he had living with his grandmother. Unfortunately, all his effort was ruined by the very person he was trying to protect. I get that a mother’s love for her child is undying, but at what expense are you willing to support such a son like Joon-Ha’s father. By helping her son, she might have just jeopardized the career of her grandson. I just hope Joon-Ha finds someone to talk to soon because, by the end of episode two, he was alone and lonely.

#4. Kim Hye-Ja’s Race To Save Her Dadimg_2046img_2047img_2044img_2045This part of the drama really proved the determination of Kim Hye-Ja’s character. Although she might say, she has given up and feels inferior to others, this scene showed that there was still this little fighter in there waiting to exhale. I love that she did not give up, no matter how many times she fell, she was quick to stand up and try again. This was an empowering scene because it shows that sometimes life throws things at you that you cannot seem to unravel in one go, it takes time, but you just have to keep on moving forward and not looking back. Even if you lose something along the way like Kim Hye-Ja lost her youth. Suicide, like she might be thinking of in the next episode, should not be your only option. I remember a quote from my favourite animation series ever, Avatar: The Last Airbender. It goes like this “when we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change”, but it all boils down to if you have the faith and the patience to fight for your situation to change and I know that Kim Hye-Ja’s character has just taken the first step towards her most significant change.

Overall, The Light in Your Eyes exceeded my expectations to a certain level. It was at the very bottom of my list for the dramas I was looking forward to watching in 2019. If you need to see that list, here is a link to it: My 2019 Drama List. It showcased the real-life situations I desired, and I love how it was done. I also got to see very emotional and fragile moments from our leads and their respective families, so Kudos to the actors and actresses for doing a fantastic job with their characters. Like I mentioned already, the characters are quite raw to me, so there is a potential for growth, which gives it another check from me. But since there is still a lot of information that I need to fully understand the time travel and ageing aspect of the drama, I will have to give this some time before I can be entirely sold on this storyline. As usual, I got my fingers crossed, hoping for the best.

My rating for this premiere will be 9/10. I will continue watching, and by the end of the show, the final verdict review will be posted for you all to know my thoughts on this drama. If you have not seen the first two episodes of this drama already, go check it out and tell me if we have any similar views. Till my next post, take care.